American Indian language
Native American Indian cultures
Legendary Native American Figures: Mhuwe (Mhwe)
Tribal affiliation: Lenape, Munsee
Alternate spellings: Mhwee, Mhuiwe, Mehuwe, Mhwe, Mhuuwe, Mamuui, Maaleew, Malew
Type: Monster, ice cannibal, giant
Related figures in other tribes: Kee-wakw (Abenaki),
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
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 Indian
East Woodland Indian languages
Native American ghost stories
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