Legendary Native American Figures: Kitanitowit (Kishelemukong)
Name: Kitanitowit Tribal affiliation:Lenape, Wampanoag, Narragansett Alternate spellings: Ketanėtuwit, Kittanitowet, Ketanitowet, Kitanetuwit, Ketanetuwit, Kihtanutoowet, Ketanutowet, Kautantowit, Kautantowwit,
Cautantowwit, Cautantouwit, Kehtannit, Kiehtan, Keihtan, Kiehton, Kehtean, Keihtanit, Kehtanit, Kiehtan Pronunciation: keh-tah-nuh-tuh-wit Also known as: Kishelėmukonkw, Kishelamąkänk, Kishelemukonk, Kishelemukong, Kishelamakank, Kishelamąkānk, Kitselemukong, Gicelemu'kaong,
Gicelemuhkaong, Kiisheelumukweengw, Kishelumukank, Kishlamekong, Kijilamuh Ka'ong, Kickerom, Kickeron, the Creator, the Great Spirit, Master of Life, Good Spirit,
Kanshė-Pąhtąmąwas, Kaanzhu Pahtamawaas, Kaunzhe Pah-tum-owans, Kanshe Pahtumawas, Pa'tumawas, Welsit Manėtu, Manto, Manetu, Manitoo-oo Type:High god,
Creator Related figures in other tribes:Niwaskw (Abenaki),
Gitche Manitou (Ojibway),
Kitanitowit is the great creator god of the Lenape and neighboring Algonquian tribes. The Lenape name
Ketanėtuwit (Cautantowwit in Narragansett) literally means
Sometimes Kitanitowit is also referred to as Kishelėmukonkw (or any of its many spelling variations),
which means "the one who created us" or "Creator," or Kanshė-Pąhtąmąwas, which means "Great God."
Another name for the Creator that can sometimes be found in older texts, "Kickeron," is probably
a corruption of a Munsee Delaware word for "our lord."
Unlike most other Algonquian folklore, Lenape stories sometimes personified the Great Spirit as a
human interacting with the Lenapes. Other Lenape myths treated Kitanitowit as a divine spirit
with no human form or attributes. "Kitanitowit" and "Kiehtan" were used as translations for "God" in
early translations of the Bible into the Lenape and Wampanoag languages, and indeed many
Algonquian people today consider the Creator and the Christian God to be one and the same.