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Macushi Indian Legends, Myths, and Stories (Makushi)

This is our collection of links to Macushi stories and folktales that can be read online. We have indexed our Native American legends section by tribe to make them easier to locate; however, variants on the same story are often told by American Indians from different tribes, especially if those tribes are kinfolk or neighbors to each other. In particular, though these legends come from the Macushis, the traditional stories of other Caribbean tribes like the Carib and Arawak Indians are very similar.

Enjoy the stories! If you would like to recommend a Macushi legend for this page, please let us know.

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Important Macushi Mythological Figures

Macunaima (also spelled Makunaima, Makonaima, Mackonaima, and other ways): The culture hero and creator god of the Macushi tribe. His name is pronounced mah-koo-nye-mah and means "He Works By Night."

Insikiran (also known as Pia): Makunaima's younger brother.

Canaima (also spelled Kanaima, Kanaimà, or Kenaima): An evil spirit that possesses people and causes them to turn into deadly animals and/or go into a murderous rage. Assassins, or people seeking revenge for a slain relative, sometimes invited the Canaima spirit into themselves by taking certain drugs or conducting certain magic rituals.

Macushi Indian Folklore

*Animism and Folklore of the Guiana Indians:
    Online book of Arawak, Carib, and Makusi mythology.

Recommended Books on Macushi Myth
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Dark Shamans:
    Book on the violent animistic traditions of Kanaima among the Makushi and other Cariban tribes.

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Additional Resources

 Macushi words
 Native American mythology
 Brazilian tribes
 South American Indians
 Carib language
 Red Indian culture

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