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Legendary Native American Figures: Thunder Beings
Name: Thunder Beings
Tribal affiliation: Lenape,
Native names: Pèthakhuweyok, Pèthakhuwe, Pethakowe'jàk, Pehtakuweyok, Pethakhuweyok, Pëlesëwok, Plethoak,
Nenemehkia, Nenemehkiwa, Neneme'kiwa, Ciinkwia, Neimpaûog
Pronunciation: varies by dialect: usually peh-thock-hoo-way-yok or pet-hock-hoo-way-yock. Pèthakhuwe is a singular form,
referring to just one Thunder Being; the rest are plural nouns. Nenemehkia is pronounced neh-neh-meh-kee-uh, and Ciinkwia is
Also Known As: Thunders, Thunder-Being, Thunderers
Type: Nature spirit, thunder, lightning
Related figures in other tribes: Thunderbirds, Animiki, Wakinyan, Seven Thunders
The Thunder Beings are a race of powerful storm spirits
from Algonquian mythology
that live in the sky and cause thunder and lightning. They are strongly associated with birds, particularly in artwork, but may appear
in legends as anthropomorphic sky-beings, giant eagles, or an intermediate form between the two, such as a bird with a
human head. Thunder Beings are dangerous spirits who sometimes kill people with their powers, but they
are also sworn enemies of the horned serpents and
sometimes rescue people from those monsters.
Thunder Being Stories
The Man Who Visited the Thunder-Beings:
Lenape legend about a man who journeyed to the land of the Thunderers.
Lenape myth about the Thunder People protecting the Earth from Maxa'xâk.
The Girl Who Joined The Thunders:
Legend about how the Thunder Beings rescued a Lenape girl from the land of snakes.
Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends
Legends of the Delawares:
Collection of Delaware Indian folktales including four in Lenape (with English translation.)
Mythology of the Lenape:
An overview of the Lenape worldview and belief system including several legends and traditional stories.
The White Deer:
Collection of Lenape and Munsee Delaware folktales.
Excellent anthology of stories, songs, and oral history from the Lenape and other Algonquian tribes.
The Delaware Tribe: A History
Lenni Lenape people
New Jersey Indians
Northeast Woodland Native cultures
Algonquian language family
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