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Legendary Native American Figures: Misiginebig (Mishi-Ginebig)

Name: Misiginebig
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, Mah-she-ken-a-peck
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)

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 Thunder Birds, who can kill them with bolts of thunder. The name misiginebig literally means Great Serpent in the Anishinabe languages.

Misiginebig Stories

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.
*Thunder Mountain:
    Potawatomi legend about a battle between a thunderbird and a great serpent.
*Shawnee Mythology:
    Overview of Shawnee oral traditions, including two tales of the Great Horned Serpent.
*Thunder Son:
    Shawnee story about a woman who unwittingly married a Great Serpent.

Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends

Ojibway Tales:
    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.
Algonquian Spirit:
    Excellent anthology of stories, songs, and oral history from the Ojibwe and other Algonquian tribes.

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Additional Resources

 We Look in All Directions
 Ojibway mythology
 Chippewa language
 Ojibway words
 Minnesota tribes
 Northeast Woodlands
 Algonquian Indians



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