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Legendary Native American Figures: Okeus (Okee)

Name: Okeus
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 originally oh-kee.
Type: Gods, evil spirits

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 Hobomock or 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.

Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends

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

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Additional Resources

 Pocahontas' People
 Powhatan religion
 Powhatan language
 Powhatan words
 Virginia Indians
 Eastern Woodland cultures
 Algonkian tribes



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