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Legendary Native American Figures: Mikumwess (Mikm)

Name: Mikumwess
Tribal affiliation: Maliseet, Passamaquoddy, Penobscot, Mi'kmaq
Alternate spellings: Mikamwes, Mikumwes, Mikum-wasus, Mikumwasus, Mikomwasos, Mihkomuwehs, Mihkomuwehsis, Migamawesu, Mkm, 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, Mihkomuwehsok, Mikumwessuk, Mekumwasuck, Mekumwasuk, Mihkomuwehsisok, Meckumasuck, Mkmwesk, 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

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

 We Were Not the Savages
 Penobscot stories
 Mikmaq words
 Maliseet words
 New Brunswick language
 Eastern Woodlands culture
 Algonkians



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