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Legendary Native American Figures: Ixtcibenihehat (Spider of Heaven)
Tribal affiliation: Gros Ventre
Alternate spellings: Ihityebi-Nihaat , Ihichebi-Nihant, Ihcebe-Nihat
Pronunciation: similar to ih-hih-cheh-bih-nih-hawt
Also known as: Spider of Heaven, Man Above, Creator, Chebbeniathan
Type: High god,
Related figures in other tribes: Maheo (Cheyenne),
Gitchie Manitou (Anishinabe),
Ixtcibenihehat means "Spider Above" or "Spider of Heaven" in the Gros Ventre language,
and is the Gros Ventre name for the Creator (God,) as distinguished from the earthly
Nihaat. The name is often
translated in English as "Man Above," since the literal form of a spider is not ascribed to Ihityebi-Nihaat.
Some people believe that Nihaat and Ihityebi-Nihaat were originally
the same mythological entity, and split into two figures after trickster legends were
borrowed from the Crow and Sioux.
Man Above Stories
The Creation of the World:
Gros Ventre myth about Man Above and the origin of the earth.
Shared Symbols, Contested Meanings:
Interesting book about Gros Ventre culture, history, and religious traditions.
Indian Legends from the Northern Rockies:
Anthology of folklore from the Gros Ventre and other Northern Plains tribes.
The Seven Visions of Bull Lodge
Gros Ventre language
Gros Ventre words
Great Plains Indian languages
The Algonquian language family
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