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Legendary Native American Figures: Kuku (Gougou)

Name: Kuku
Tribal affiliation: Maliseet, Passamaquoddy, Mi'kmaq
Alternate spellings: Gougou, Googoo, Gugu, Ku Ku, Kuhkw
Pronunciation: koo-goo or goo-goo, depending on tribal dialect
Type: Monster, giant
Related figures in other tribes: Basket Ogress (Northwest Coast tribes)

The Kuku or Gougou is a kind of man-eating giant, usually (but not always) described as female. Gougou is so huge that she carries the people she catches in a bag over her shoulder the way human hunters carry rabbits. The Mi'kmaq name Kuku may derive from their word for "earthquake," kiwkw, since she is so large her footsteps shake the earth. According to some legends, Gougou is a sea monster covered in scales who preys mostly on people paddling canoes or walking along the beach. In other legends, Gougou lives in the mountains and is often mistaken for a boulder until it is too late.

Kuku Stories

Canadian Word of the Day: Gougou:
    Article about the Gougou monster including early French accounts of First Nations legends about it.

Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends

Giants of the Dawnland:
    A good collection of Wabanaki legends told by a Penobscot Indian author.
Algonquian Spirit:
    Excellent anthology of stories, songs, and oral history from the Maliseet and other Algonquian tribes.
When the Chenoo Howls: Native American Tales of Terror:
    Eerie collection of Native American ghost stories and monster tales, told by a Native American storyteller.

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Additional Resources

 We Were Not the Savages
 Mi'kmaq stories
 Mikmaq language
 Maliseet words
 Maine languages
 Woodland tribe

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