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Legendary Native American Figures: Moqwaio (Mahwaew)

Name: Moqwaio
Tribal affiliation: Menominee
Alternate spellings: Mo'qwaio, Moquaio, Mokwayo, Maqweo, Moqwais, Moqwaoi, Muh'wäse, Muhwasw, Mahwaew, Moqwai
Pronunciation: In Menominee, it sounds like muh-hwow, but it usually gets anglicized to muh-kwow or muh-kwy-oh.
Also known as: Na'qpote
Type: Lord of the Dead, hero, wolf
Related figures in other tribes: Chibiabos (Anishinabe), Mateguas (Abenaki)

Moqwaio is the beloved brother of the Menominee culture hero Manabus. In some versions, Moqwaio is the twin brother of Manabush; in others, he is a wolf spirit adopted by Manabush as his brother. Moqwaio is usually represented in the physical form of a wolf. Moqwaio was murdered by water spirits, touching off a violent chain of events that included the destruction of the earth by flood. Afterwards, Manabush was unable to bring his brother back to life, so Moqwaio became ruler of the underworld. Moqwaio is portrayed as a good and kind being who takes good care of the land of the dead. His name literally means "Wolf" in Menominee; Na'qpote, another name of his, means "good hunter."

Moqwaio Stories

*Manabozho's Wolf Brother:
    Menomini legend about the life and death of Moqwaio.
*Manabush and his Brother:
    Menominee story of how Nanabozho's brother Wolf became chief of the dead.

Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends

Medicine Water: Menominee And Chippeway Indian Legends And Myths:
    Old collection of Chippewa and Menominee stories.
Algonquian Spirit:
    Excellent anthology of stories, songs, and oral history from the Menominee and related tribes.

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Additional Resources

 Dreamers With Power
 Menominee stories
 Wisconsin tribes
 Northeast Woodland Indians
 The Algonquian language family



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