Legendary Native American Figures: Mesingw (Mising)
Name: Mesingw Tribal affiliation:Lenape, Munsee, Shawnee (some communities) Alternate spellings: Misingw, Msingw, Mėsingw, Msiingw, Mising, Mesing, Mee Sing, Misink, Mesingwe, Msingwe, Misingwa, Masing,
Mesingk, Messingq, Misi'ngwe, Mesingwe, Mizi'nk, Misink, Misignwa Pronunciation: similar to muh-seeng but with a rounded final consonant. Also known as: Mask Spirit, Masked Being, Spirit Face, Living Solid Face, Master of Game.
Mesingholikan (also spelled Mėsingholikan, Misinkhalikan, Misinghalikun, Misinkhālikąn, Misinghali'kun,
Mizinkhali'kun, Wsinkhoalican, and other ways) was the name of a Lenape ritual dancer who channeled the role of Mesingw for hunting and curing ceremonies. Type:Mask,
dream spirit, hunting god
Mesingw is the Lenape Mask Spirit, a powerful, sacred medicine spirit who maintains the balance of nature,
appears to Lenape men in dreams, and is the focus of certain traditional Lenape religious rituals.
Some people (especially non-Natives) have begun associating Mesingw with Bigfoot
recently, but this is not a traditional view-- many Native American tribes do indeed have
sasquatch/hairy man legends but the Lenape Mask Spirit is not one of them.
Mising is usually depicted as a supernatural face with one half colored red and the other half colored black.
Mising is the protector of all animals of the forest, but is most strongly associated with deer. Some Lenape people
describe Mising as taking humanoid form and riding through the woods on the back of a deer, helping respectful
hunters and punishing those who despoil the forest.
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.