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Legendary Native American Figures: Misiginebig (Mishi-Ginebig)
Misiginebig is an underwater horned serpent, common to the legends of most Algonquian tribes,
which is said to lurk in lakes and eat humans. Their sworn enemies are the
Tribal affiliation: Ojibway, Algonquin, Ottawa, Menominee, Shawnee, Cree
Alternate spellings: Mishiginebig, Mishi-Ginebig, Meshkenabec, Msi-Knebik, Kichikinebik, Kichiginebig, Mishi-Kinebig,
Mishikinebik, Misikinebik, Meshkenabec, Mshignebig, Kchiknebig, Mshiknebik, Kchiknebik, Kichiknebik, Kchiknebig, Kchiginebig,
Mshiginebig, Misi-Ginebig, Misiganebic, Miciginabik, Miciginabig, Micikinebik, Mecikenäpikwa,
Maeci-Kenupik, Maec-Kenupik, Meqsekenaepik, Misikinubick, Misikinubik, Meshe-Kinebik, Meshekenabek,
Misi-Kinebik, Mi'shikine'bik, Mi'siki'nipik, Misikinebik, Msi-Kinepikwa, Msí kinépikwa, Misi-Kinopik, Ktchi-Kinepikwa,
Me'cigenepigwa, Misiganebic, Mi:'s-kenu:pik, Msi-kinepeikwa, Kinepikwa, Misikinipik, Psikinepikwa, Psikinépikwa, Genay-big,
Pronunciation: Varies by dialect: usually mih-sih-gih-nay-big, kih-chih-gih-nay-bick, or mih-shih-gih-nay-big.
Also known as: Great Serpent, Wewiwilemita Manetu
Type: Lake monster, serpent
Related figures in other tribes: Pitaskog (Abenaki),
Kitchi-at'Husis (Maliseet), Jipijka'm (Micmac), Maneto (Fox), Mehne (Cheyenne)
who can kill them with bolts of thunder. The name misiginebig literally means Great Serpent
in the Anishinabe languages.
Iyash and the Horned Serpent:
Severn Ojibwe legend about Kicikinepek and the Thunderbirds.
Great Serpent and the Great Flood:
Chippewa story about Nanabozho slaying Mishi-Ginebig.
Potawatomi legend about a battle between a thunderbird and a great serpent.
Overview of Shawnee oral traditions, including two tales of the Great Horned Serpent.
Shawnee story about a woman who unwittingly married a Great Serpent.
Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends
Good collection of traditional folktales retold by an Ojibway author.
The Mishomis Book: Voice of the Ojibway:
Excellent book by a Native author exploring Ojibway legends and traditions.
Excellent anthology of stories, songs, and oral history from the Ojibwe and other Algonquian tribes.
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