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Legendary Native American Figures: Iwarrika

Name: Iwarrika
Tribal affiliation: Akawaio
Also known as: Iwaryka, Iwarika, Capuchin, Brown Monkey
Pronunciation: ee-wah-rih-kah
Type: Monkey spirit, trickster, flood causer

Iwarrika is a mythological monkey from the Akawaio and other Cariban tribes of South America. He is a trickster figure noted for his intelligence but also his laziness, disobedience, greed, and insatiable curiosity. Iwarrika is blamed for accidentally flooding the earth by disturbing a dam built by the benevolent demigod Sigu, either because of the monkey's inherent curiosity or because he was trying to steal food from Sigu (depending on the version told.) The name "Iwarrika" literally means "Monkey" in the Akawaio language (in particular it refers to the weeping capuchin... the Carib tribes had different words for many specific types of monkeys.)

Iwarrika Stories

*Acawai Flood Myth:
    Akawaio legend about Iwarrika causing the world flood.

Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends

Guyana Legends : Folk Tales of the Indigenous Amerindians:
    Good collection of Akawaio and other Guyanese mythology, including two stories about Iwarrika.

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Additional Resources

 South American mythology
 Akawaio language
 Guyana languages
 Amazonian Native Americans
 Cariban tribes
 Indian animal spirits



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