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Legendary Native American Figures: Matanto (Matantu)
Tribal affiliation: Lenape, Munsee
Alternate spellings: Matantu, Mahtantu, Matantoow, Mtantoow, Mtan-toow, Muttontoe, Mahtan'tu, Matantu
Pronunciation: muh-tun-toh or muh-tun-too
Related figures in other tribes: Atlantow (Mohican),
Hobomok (Wampanoag), Okeus (Powhatan)
In Lenape mythology, Matanto is the manėtu (spirit) of death. He was portrayed as a destructive, often evil being usually in opposition to
Ketanėtuwit. Matanto is associated with bats, stinging insects, and poisonous
plants, all of which he is said to have created. After the introduction of Christianity, Lenape people frequently identified Mahtantu with the Devil.
Legends of the Delawares:
Collection of Delaware Indian folktales including four in Lenape (with English translation.)
Mythology of the Lenape:
An overview of the Lenape worldview and belief system including several legends and traditional stories.
Excellent anthology of stories, songs, and oral history from the Delaware and other Algonquian tribes.
The Delaware Tribe: A History
New Jersey Indians
Eastern Woodland languages
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