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Legendary Native American Figures: Kanaima (Canaima, Kenaima)
Tribal affiliation: Carib, Akawaio, Macushi, Patamona, Pemon
Alternate spellings: Canaima, Kanaimà, Kenaima, Kanáima, Kanaimö
Type: Evil spirit, witchcraft, revenge
In the belief system of the Carib tribes, Kanaima is an evil spirit that possesses people and causes them to turn into
deadly animals and/or go into a murderous rage. Assassins, or Carib people seeking revenge for a slain relative,
sometimes invited the Kanaima spirit into themselves by taking certain drugs or conducting certain magic rituals.
Kanaima, the Invisible or Broken Arrow:
The story of the vengeance spirit Kanaima.
Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends
Book on the violent animistic traditions of Kanaima among the Cariban tribes.
Guyana Legends: Folk Tales of the Indigenous Amerindians:
Good collection of Cariban and Arawakan mythology from Guyana.
Rain Forest Literatures: Amazonian Texts and Latin American Culture:
An interesting compilation of traditional Arawak, Carib, and Guarani stories.
A Carib Grammar and Dictionary
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