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Legendary Native American Figures: Maheo (Maheu)
Tribal affiliation: Cheyenne
Alternate spellings: Maheu, Maiyun, Maheo'o
Pronunciation: Similar to mah-hey-yoh.
Also known as: Great Spirit, Great Medicine, Sky Chief, Master of Life, Heammawihio, Heamaveeho, Heammawehio, Maxemaheo, Maxematasooma, Ma:manstomanehe
Type: High god,
Related figures in other tribes: Gitchi Manitou (Anishinabe),
Maheo is the Cheyenne name for the Creator (God.) In English he is often referred to as Great Medicine, Great One,
or the Great Spirit; Maxemaheo and Maxematasooma are longer Cheyenne
names literally meaning "Great God" and "Great Spirit." Maheo is a divine spirit without human form or attributes
and is rarely personified in Cheyenne folklore. In some myths, Maheo is referred to as Heammawihio, which means
"Spider Above." This may be an appellation borrowed from their Arapaho kinfolk, who referred to the Creator this
way to differentiate him from the earthly Spider figure. Maheo is by far the more common name. It is
pronounced similar to mah-hey-yoh in Cheyenne.
The Great Medicine Dance:
The legend of Maheo the Creator and the origin of the Cheyenne sacred ceremonies.
Great Medicine Makes a Beautiful Country:
The traditional story of how Maheu created people and animals.
Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends
Tales of the Cheyennes:
Collection of Cheyenne legends and folktales.
Excellent anthology of stories, songs, and oral history from the Cheyenne and other Algonquian tribes.
Great Plains Indians
The Algonquian languages
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