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Native American Legends: Mikumwess (Mikm)

Name: Mikumwess
Tribal affiliation: Malécite, Passamaquoddy, Penobscot, Micmac
Alternate spellings: Mikamwes, Mikumwes, Mikum-wasus, Mikumwasus, Mikomwasos, Mihkomuwehs, Mihkomuwehsis, Migamawesu, Míkm, Mikmuwessu, Mi'kmuesu, Mikumwees, Megumooweso, Megumoowesoo, Megumawessos, Mikumwessos, Mik'am, Mukmues, Mickamwes, Mikumwes, Mickemnise
Pronunciation: mee-kum-wess or mee-kum-oo-wess
Also known as: The plural form of their name is Mikumwesuk, Mikumwesuck, Mihkomuwehsok, Mikumwessuk, Mekumwasuck, Mekumwasuk, Mihkomuwehsisok, Meckumasuck, Míkmwesúk, Mekemwasuk, Mikumweswak, etc.
Type: Little people, nature spirits
Related figures in other tribes: Bagwajinini (Anishinabe), Makiaweesug (Mohegan), Paissa (Miami)

Mikumwesuk are little people like sprites or dwarves, said to be about as tall as a man's waist. They are generally benevolent forest spirits but can be dangerous if they are disrespected. Some Maliseet traditions provide the Mikumwesuk with an origin story: they are the descendants of a tiny hero called Mikumwesu, who was the brother and companion of the culture hero Glooskap.

Mikumwess Stories

*How Glooskap made a Magician of a Young Man:
    In this Micmac story, Glooskap turns a man into a Mikumwes.
*The Mournful Mystery of the Partridge-Witch:
    Penobscot story of a young man who fell in love with a Mikumwess girl and died when he had to marry another.

Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends
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Giants of the Dawnland:
    A good collection of Wabanaki legends told by a Penobscot Indian author.
On the Trail of Elder Brother:
    More traditional Wabanaki stories, told by a Mi'kmaq author and illustrator.
Algonquian Spirit:
    Excellent anthology of stories, songs, and oral history from the Mi'kmaq and other Algonquian tribes.
The Deetkatoo:
    Traditional tales about little people from the Maliseet, Passamaquoddy, and other Native American tribes.

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Additional Resources

 Passamaquoddy mythology
 Passamaquoddy Indians
 Penobscot Indians
 Micmac Indian tribe
 New Brunswick language
 Northeastern Native Americans
 Algonquian dictionary

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Learn more about the Micmac tribe.

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