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Legendary Native American Figures: Lox (Loks)

Name: Lox
Tribal affiliation: Maliseet, Passamaquoddy, Micmac
Alternate spellings: Laks, Loks, Luks, Lux, Lahks, Duks, Leux
Also known as: Keekwajoo, Gigwadju, Keehcajoo, Wolverine, Badger, the Indian Devil, Skicinuwi-Wahant, W'skidcinwi Wahant
Pronunciation: Rhymes with "blokes" in Maliseet, "blocks" in Passamaquoddy, or "dukes" in Mi'kmaq. Keekwajoo is pronounced kee-kwah-joo.
Type: Wolverine
Related figures: Carcajou, Lusifee

Lox is a malevolent wolverine spirit of the northern Wabanaki tribes. Among the Mi'kmaq, Lox is sometimes also known as Keekwajoo (or Ki'kwaju, Gigwa'aju, Kwi'kwa'ju, Kekwajoo, Keekwahjoo, etc,) which comes from the Mi'kmaq word for "wolverine." (It is mistranslated as "Badger" in some older literature, but this is a clear error-- badgers do not live in Wabanaki territory, and Ki'kwaju definitely refers to a wolverine. The French word for wolverine, carcajou, was even borrowed from this Mi'kmaq word.) Skicinuwi-Wahant and W'skidcinwi Wahant are Maliseet-Passamaquoddy translations of "Indian Devil," which was a common name for Lox among English speakers.

Lox usually demonstrates inappropriate social behavior like gluttony, rudeness, impatience, and a bad temper, but in some stories he also plays the role of a deadly monster for humans to beware of. After the introduction of Christianity to the Wabanaki tribes, Lox became identified with Satan, and some fusion French-Indian stories have been recorded in which Lox tries to steal people's souls.

Native American Lox Stories

Wolverine and Bear * How Master Lox Froze To Death * A Story of Leux:
    Maliseet and Micmac legends about Lox paying the price for misusing his magical powers.
Lox: * How Lox Deceived The Ducks:
    Wabanaki legends about Lox the Wolverine killing other animals.
*The Merry Tales of Lox, The Mischief-Maker:
    Wabanaki legends about two water sprites who escape from Lox, and the ill-tempered wolverine's subsequent misadventures.
*How Lox Told A Lie:
    Lox unsuccessfully tries to hide an affair with his brother's wife.

Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends

Passamaquoddy Texts:
    Old collection of legends about Lox and other mythical Passamaquoddy characters.
Giants of the Dawnland:
    A good collection of Wabanaki legends told by a Penobscot Indian author.
On the Trail of Elder Brother:
    Another good book of traditional Wabanaki stories, told by a Mi'kmaq author and illustrator.
Algonquian Spirit:
    Excellent anthology of stories, songs, and oral history from the Mi'kmaq and other Algonquian tribes.

Additional Resources

 Mikmaq myths
 Mikmaq language
 Maliseet words
 New Brunswick languages
 Eastern Woodlands food
 Algonquians



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