Native American language * American Indian cultures * American Indian nations

Native American Legends: Nixant (Nihant)

Name: Nixant
Tribal affiliation: Gros Ventre
Alternate spellings: Nihaat, Nihant, Nix'ant, Nihehat, Ni:hehat, Nihata, Nihat'a
Pronunciation: nih-hawt or nih-hawt-ah
Also known as: White Man
Type: Culture hero, Transformer, trickster spirit
Related figures in other tribes: Nihancan (Arapaho), Weeho (Cheyenne), Na'pi (Blackfoot), Ikto'mi (Sioux), Manabus (Anishinabe), Whiskey-Jack (Cree)

Nixant is the spider trickster of the Gros Ventre tribe. It is properly spelled Nihaat in Gros Ventre. Nixant is an interesting figure-- in some tales he plays the typical trickster/transformer role common to Algonquian tribes, making more or less benign mischief and shaping the world for the Gros Ventres as he goes. But in other tales, Nixant is depicted as a more violent, anti-social trickster type similar to Siouan spider spirits like Iktomi. The literal meaning of the character's Gros Ventre name is "Spider." It is given as "White Man" in many older translations, but this is a misleading translation-- the Gros Ventres named white people after Nihaat, not vice versa! It doesn't literally mean "white."

Nixant Stories

Recommended Books of Nixant Stories
Our organization earns a commission from any book bought through these links

Shared Symbols, Contested Meanings:
    Interesting book about Gros Ventre culture, history, and religious traditions.
Indian Legends from the Northern Rockies:
    Anthology of folklore from the Gros Ventre and other Northern Plains tribes.
American Indian Trickster Tales:
    Compilation of more than a hundred Nixant and other trickster stories from many different tribes.
Use discretion sharing these with kids as some of the stories contain adult humor.

Sponsored Links

Additional Resources

 Gros Ventre myths
 Gros Ventre tribe
 Gros Ventre pronunciation
 Montana Native American tribes
 Northern Plains

Back to Native American Indian Heroes
Back to American Indian Myths
Learn more about the Gros Ventre tribe.

Native art * Montauk Long Island * Acateco * Turquoise squash blossom necklaces * Indian names

Would you like to help support our organization's work with endangered American Indian languages?

Native Languages of the Americas website © 1998-2020 * Contacts and FAQ page