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Native Languages of the Americas:
Meskwaki (Fox) Legends, Myths, and Stories

This is our collection of links to Fox Indian folktales and traditional stories that can be read online. We have indexed our Native American folklore section by tribe to make them easier to locate; however, variants on the same legend are often told by American Indians from different tribes, especially if those tribes are kinfolk or neighbors to each other. In particular, though these legends come from the Fox tribe, the traditional stories of related tribes like the Sauk and Menominee are very similar.

Enjoy the stories! If you would like to recommend a Fox legend for this page or think one of the ones on here should be removed, please let us know.

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Important Mesquakie Mythological Figures

Click on each character's name for more detailed information about his or her role in Fox mythology.

Wisakeha (also spelled Wisaka and other ways.) Wisakeha is the benevolent culture hero of Sac and Fox legends (sometimes referred to as a "transformer" by folklorists.) His name is pronounced similar to wee-zah-keh-hah. Wisakeha is the same character as the Cree Whiskey Jack and shares some similarities with other Algonquian heroes such as the Wabanaki Koluskap and Anishinabe Manabush; many of the same stories are told in different Algonquian tribes with only the identity of the protagonist differing.

Kechi Manito (also spelled Kechi Manetowa and several other ways.) This means "Great Spirit" in the Mesquakie language, and is the Mesquakie name for the Creator (God.) Kechi Manito is a divine spirit with no human form or attributes (including gender) and is never personified in Fox stories. The name is pronounced similar to keh-chee muh-nih-toh.

Thunder-Beings (Nenemehkiwa): Powerful storm spirits that live in the sky and cause thunder and lightning. Although they are associated with birds, particularly in artwork, Thunder Beings are usually described as having human form in Fox myths.

Maneto (also known as Mecikenäpikwa): A fearsome horned serpent that lurks in lakes and rivers and eats people. The only thing they fear is thunder, for the Thunder Beings are their sworn enemies and have the ability to strike them dead with thunderbolts.

Paisa (or Paia'shiwuk): Magical little people of the forest, similar to European gnomes or fairies. These names, which literally mean "Little People" or "Little Ones," sometimes also include the boy heroes Lodge Boy and Thrown Away (see below), who are "little" by virtue of being magical children. They are sometimes referred to as the "Little Creatures of Caprice." In most Fox stories, Little People are portrayed as mischievous but generally benign nature spirits, who may play tricks on people but are not dangerous.

Lodge-Boy and Thrown-Away. These mythical twins, born when their pregnant mother was killed by a monster, are common to the folklore of many Midwestern and Plains tribes. They are generally portrayed as heroic monster-slayers in Fox legends.

Underground Panther (Naamipeshiwa or Peshipeshiwa): A powerful mythological creature something like a cross between a cougar and a dragon. It is a dangerous monster who lives in deep water and causes men and women to drown.

Fox Indian Folklore

*They That Chase After The Bear (A Star Story) * Musquakie - Chasing the Bear:
    Fox legend about the origin of the constellations.
*The Little Creatures of Caprice Ensnare the Sun:
    Meskwaki story about the Algonquian Little People.
*An Opossum Becomes Disliked Because of His Pretty Tail:
    Meskwaki legend showing what comes of pride.
*Legends and Folklore of the Northern Lights:
    Aurora Borealis stories from the Meskwaki, Kwakiutl, and Tlingit tribes.

Recommended Books on Fox Mythology
Our organization earns a commission from any book bought through these links

Fox Texts:
    Collection of Fox legends and traditional stories.
Algonquian Spirit:
    Excellent anthology of stories, songs, and oral history from the Fox and other Algonquian tribes.

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Additional Resources

 Christianity and the Meskwaki religion
 Sac and Fox tribe
 Fox language
 Books of Indian legends
 Native American spiritual beliefs
 Fox words
 Michigan Indian tribes
 Woodlands Indian culture
 Indigenous languages in the US

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