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Native American Legends: Aniwye

Name: Aniwye
Tribal affiliation: Ojibwe, Algonquin, Cree
Alternate spellings: Aniwaaye, Aniwo'ye, Wniyyu
Pronounced: ah-nih-why
Also known as: Mishi-zhigaag, Mi-she-shek-kak, Big-Skunk, Giant Skunk
Type: Monster, giant animal, skunk

Aniwye was a giant man-eating skunk monster of Ojibwe legend who killed people by breaking wind at them, causing them to become sickened and die. Aniwye was defeated by the hero Great Fisher and is often said to have been turned into an ordinary skunk by either Great Fisher or the culture hero Nanabozho, thus explaining why skunks spray. In some versions of the story Aniwye had the appearance of a giant skunk and was simply changed into a smaller and less deadly animal; in others, Aniwye was described as a man-eating giant and didn't have the form of a skunk at all until he was killed and revived as one. "Mishi-zhigaag" or "Mi-she-shek-kak," an alternate name for Aniwye, literally means "giant skunk."

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Native American Legends About Aniwye

*Kuikuhchu and Wniyyu * Legend of the Giant Skunk:
    Two Cree legends about Wolverine slaying Giant Skunk (Aniwye.)

Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends

Myths and Folk-lore of the Timiskaming Algonquin and Timagami Ojibwa:
    Classic collection of Algonquin legends including the story of Aniwye and Fisher.
Living Our Language:
    Ojibwe legends and oral histories.
The Mishomis Book: Voice of the Ojibway:
    Excellent book by a Native author exploring Ojibway legends and traditions.
Algonquian Spirit:
    Rich anthology of stories, songs, and oral history from the Ojibway and other Algonquian tribes.
Native American Animal Stories:
    Great collection of American Indian tales about animals, told by Abenaki storyteller Joseph Bruchac.

Additional Resources

 We Look in All Directions
 Ojibwe myths
 Ojibwe language
 Anishinabe words
 Languages spoken in Canada
 Woodlands Indian cultures
 The Algonquians



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