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Native American Legends: Big Water Snake

Name: Big Water Snake
Tribal affiliation: Blackfoot
Names in Blackfoot: Omachk-soyis-ksiksinai, Omahksoyisksiksina
Pronunciation: similar to oh-mock-soh-yisk-sick-sin-uh.
Also known as: Horned Snake, Water-Monster, Horned Monster, Great Serpent,
Type: Lake monster, giant serpent
Related figures in other tribes: Mishi-Ginebig (Anishinabe), Gitaskog (Abenaki), Maneto (Fox), Mihni (Cheyenne)

Big Water Snake is an underwater horned serpent, common to the legends of most Algonquian tribes. "Big Water Snake" is a literal translation of its Blackfoot name, Omahksoyisksiksina. Big Water Snakes are dangerous man-eating creatures known for lurking in lakes and rivers and attacking unwary travelers. Their sworn enemies are the Thunderbirds, who can kill them with bolts of thunder. Despite their fearsome appearance and deadly behavior towards humans, Big Water Snakes are respected spirit beings and Blackfoot people sometimes used protective Water Snake designs on sacred objects such as tipi covers, pipe bags and medicine pouches.

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Big Water Snake Stories

*The Warrior That Ate The Horned Snake:
    Blackfoot legend about a man who offended the Horned Snakes and was turned into one as punishment.

Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends

Mythology of the Blackfoot Indians:
    Collection of traditional Blackfoot legends and folktales.
Algonquian Spirit:
    Excellent anthology of stories, songs, and oral history from the Blackfoot and other Algonquian tribes.

Additional Resources

 Story of the Blackfoot People
 Blackfoot mythology
 Siksika language
 Siksika words
 Montana tribes
 Great Plains Indians languages
 Algonquian Indians



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