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Native American Legends: Mhuwe (Mhwe)

Name: Mhuwe
Tribal affiliation: Lenape, Munsee
Alternate spellings: Mhwee, Mhuiwe, Mehuwe, Mhwe, Mhuuwe, Mamuui, Maaleew, Malew
Pronunciation: muh-hoo-way
Type: Monster, ice cannibal, giant
Related figures in other tribes: Kee-wakw (Abenaki), Windigo (Anishinabe), Chenoo (Mi'kmaq)

Mhuwe is a man-eating ice giant of Lenape legend, like the Windigo of the Ojibway and Cree tribes. Not many tales of Mhuwe were ever recorded, but like the better-known Windigo, Mhuwe was a fearsome monster associated with starvation, cannibalism, and sin. A person who tasted human flesh or went mad from the cold might turn into a Mhuwe, and in at least one Lenape legend, a Mhuwe monster that is treated kindly and given civilized food to eat can be turned back into a human.

Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends
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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.
Algonquian Spirit:
    Excellent anthology of stories, songs, and oral history from the Delaware and other Algonquian tribes.

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Additional Resources

 Delaware stories
 Lenape words
 New Jersey Indian
 East Woodland Indian languages
 Algonquian languages
 Native American ghost stories

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