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Legendary Native American Figures: Yunwi Tsunsdi'

Name: Yunwi Tsunsdi'
Tribal affiliation: Cherokee
Alternate spellings: Yvwi Tsusdi', Yvwi Tsusdi'ga, Yuwi Tsunsdi'ga, Yvwi Jusdi, Tsvdigewi, Yumwi, Yunwí tsunsdí, Tsundige'wi, Yunwee chuns dee. The singular form is Yvwi Usdi.
Pronunciation: yun-wee joon-stee (or yun-wee joon-stee-gah.)
Type: Indian little people, forest spirits
Related figures in other tribes: Puckwudgies (Algonquian,) Mannegishi (Cree), Mikm (Wabanaki)

Yunwi-Tsunsdi are a race of small humanoid nature spirits, sometimes referred to in English as "dwarves" or "fairies." They are usually invisible but sometimes reveal themselves as miniature child-sized people. Yunwi Tsunsdi are benevolent creatures who frequently help humans in Cherokee stories, but they have magical powers and are said to harshly punish people who are disrespectful or aggressive towards them. Their name literally means "little people." Some non-Cherokee people refer to them by the nickname "Yunwi" or "Yumwi," but that is an error... yvwi alone just means "person" in Cherokee.

Yunwi Tsunsdi' Stories

*Tsvdigewi:
    Cherokee stories about the Little People.

Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends

The Deetkatoo:
    Great collection of traditional tales about little people from the Cherokee and other tribes.
The First Fire:
    Anthology of stories from the Kickapoo, Cherokee, Kiowa, and Tigua tribes.
Southeastern Native American Legends:
    Book comparing the traditional stories of the Cherokee and other Southeast tribes.

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Additional Resources

 Seeking the Corn Mother's Wisdom
 Cherokee myth
 Cherokee language information
 Cherokee words
 Cherokee names
 Languages of Oklahoma
 Southeastern Indians
 Iroquoian language



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