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Native American Legends: Animikii (Nimki)
Tribal affiliation: Ojibwe, Algonquin, Ottawa, Shawnee
Alternate spellings: Animiki, Animkii, Nimkii, Nimki, Onimikė, Animikė, Onimiki, Onimiski, Nimki, Nemki, Animike, Nenemki, Nenimkee, Nenemhki. Plural forms are Animikiig, Animikig, Nimkiig, Nimkig, Animikiik, Animkeeg, or Animikik.
Pronunciation: Varies by dialect: usually uh-nim-kee, nim-kee, or oh-nih-mih-kee.
Also known as: Binesi, Wapoothi, Waputhi
Type: Thunder spirit,
Related figures in other tribes: Thunderbird, Thunderer, Thunder-Being
Animikii is a giant mythological thunder-bird common to the northern and western tribes. Thunder is caused by the beating of their immense wings.
Although thunderbirds are very powerful beings, they rarely bother humans, and are treated with reverence by Ojibwe people.
Animikii literally means "thunderer," and Binesi means "the great bird."
How the Birch Tree Got Its Burns:
Ojibwe legend about the Nanabozho stealing fire from Thunderbird to share with the people.
Iyash and the Horned Serpent:
Severn Ojibwe legend about the Thunderbirds fighting a horned serpent.
Shawnee story about the son of a Thunderbird.
Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends
Good collection of traditional folktales told by an Ojibway author.
Excellent anthology of stories, songs, and oral history from the Ojibwe and other Algonquian tribes.
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