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Legendary Native American Figures: Okeus (Okee)
Tribal affiliation: Powhatan
Alternate spellings: Okee, Oke, Oki
Pronunciation: Uncertain (the Powhatan language is no longer spoken and is known by only a few texts), but probably
Okeus was one of the principal gods of the Powhatan Confederacy. Little is known about him except that he was often
associated with war and that unlike Ahone,
offerings and supplications were frequently made to him. The early colonists thought that Okeus (or Okee, as most
of them spelled it) was an evil god comparable to the Devil. This is certainly possible-- other eastern Algonquian tribes
like the Lenape and Wampanoag believed in malevolent spirits such as
Matanto-- but it's also possible that the colonists were
simply associating Okeus rituals with evil witchcraft due to their own belief system. In fact, some contemporary
Virginia Algonquian people believe that Ahone and Okeus were one and the same, and that there was simply a difference in
names and worship styles because of the many different small tribes that belonged to the Powhatan Confederacy.
Excellent anthology of stories, songs, and oral history from the Algonquian tribes.
Eastern Woodland cultures
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