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Legendary Native American Figures: Cyclone Person (Cyclone Man)



Name: Cyclone Person
Tribal affiliation: Shawnee, Lenape
Native names: Kako-u'hthé, Kaka-8thé
Also known as: Cyclone Man, Cyclone Woman
Type: Storm spirit, tornado

Cyclone Person is a storm spirit of the Shawnee and Lenape tribes. Some sources identify Cyclone Person as male (like the other Algonquian wind spirits), while others identify Cyclone Person as female (like Whirlwind of the Iroquois tribes.) It's possible that Cyclone Person was not originally anthropomorphized at all, like the Great Spirit, and over time the different communities, living in locations far away from each other, came to conceptualize this being differently. The dark tendrils of a tornado are described as the long flying hair of Cyclone Person. Despite this being's destructive power, she (or he) is not considered antagonistic and is usually viewed positively, particularly by the Shawnees, who consider Cyclone Person a kindred spirit and friend of their tribe. In the old days, it was said that Shawnee people had no fear of tornados because Cyclone Person would not intentionally harm them. Even today, some Shawnees in Oklahoma like to point out that tornados have never destroyed the houses on their reservation.

Cyclone Person Stories

*Shawnee Mythology:
    Overview of Shawnee oral traditions, including a description of Cyclone Person (here a woman.)

Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends

Mythology of the Lenape:
    Book of Lenape legends and traditional stories, including one about Cyclone Man.
Indian Tales:
    Collection of Miami, Wyandot and Shawnee folklore.
Algonquian Spirit:
    Excellent anthology of stories, songs, and oral history from the Shawnee, Lenape, and other Algonquian tribes.

Additional Resources

 Lenape mythology
 Shawnee language
 Delaware language
 Lenape words
 Pennsylvania Indians
 Woodland Indian cultures
 Algonkian languages



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