American Indian language
American Indian culture
Legendary Native American Figures: Makunaima (Macunaima)
Tribal affiliation: Akawaio, Pemon, Macushi, Carib
Alternate spellings: Macunaima, Makonaima, MakonŠima, Mackonaima, Makenaima
Type: Creator, culture hero, high god
Related figures in other tribes: Kururumany (Arawak)
Makunaima is the name of the great Creator god of the Akawaio and neighboring Cariban tribes.
The name Makunaima literally means "He Works By Night."
Traditional Cariban cosmology has become very muddled since the arrival of Christian
missionaries. Though older myths feature Makunaima as a legendary culture hero who slays
monsters, in more recent texts, these exploits are usually ascribed to
Sigu instead, while Makunaima
is translated as "God" or "Great Spirit" and is not personified. Indeed, Makunaima is often said never to have been
seen by mortal man.
Acawai Flood Myth:
Akawaio legend about Makunaima, his son Sigu, and the World Tree.
Legends of the Acawoios:
Collection of Akawaio legends and folktales, beginning with Makonaima's creation of the world.
The Sun, the Frog, and the Fire-Sticks:
A Guyanese Carib legend about Makunaima and his twin brother Pia.
Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends
Rain Forest Literatures: Amazonian Texts and Latin American Culture:
An interesting compilation of traditional Arawak, Carib, and Guarani stories.
Guyana Legends: Folk Tales of the Indigenous Amerindians:
Good collection of Cariban and Arawakan mythology from Guyana.
A Carib Grammar and Dictionary
Caribbean culture and language
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