Native American languages * Native Indian cultures * Native Indian nations

  * Find Native American ancestors in your family tree

Legendary Native American Figures: True Tiger (Real Lynx)

Name: True Tiger
Tribal affiliation: Miami, Illini
Native names: Lenapizha, Lenapizka, Lenipinzha, Lenipinshia, Lenapinchiwa, Irenipinchiwa, Lenapízha, Lenapizka, Lenapi'zha, Lanapizhia, Aramipichia, Aramipinchiwa, Araamipinshia, Arimipichia, Michipinchiwa, Waapipinshia, Wapipinzha
Pronunciation: Varies by dialect: usually leh-nuh-pih-zha or leh-nuh-pinch-ih-wuh
Also known as: Real Lynx, Underneath Lynx
Type: Monster, water spirit, lynx
Related figures in other tribes: Underwater panthers (Anishinabe)

True Tiger is a powerful mythological water monster of the Miami and Illinois tribes, something like a cross between a giant lynx and a dragon. Its English name is a bit of a misnomer, since tigers are not native to North America; the true translation of the Miami-Illinois name is actually "Real Lynx," although the monster is more tiger-like in size. "Aramipinchiwa" means "Underneath Lynx" (a reference to the monster's home beneath the water,) "Wapipinzha" means "White Lynx," and "Michipinchiwa" means "Big Lynx."

According to legend, True Tigers live at the bottom of lakes and cause people to drown. A True Tiger is usually described as having the body of an oversized lynx with pale fur, antlers, armored scales, and sharp spines running down its back. The Miami associated True Tigers with shooting stars.

True Tiger Stories

Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends

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

Additional Resources

 Illinois legends
 Miami stories
 Miami-Illinois language
 Miami-Illinois words
 Michigan languages
 Woodlands Indians culture
 Algonquians



Back to American Indian Characters
Back to Native American Indian Children's Myths



Native American art sites * Cherokee genealogy * Txiko * Picture of dreamcatcher * Tribal tattoo designs

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

or buy some books through this link:

Native Languages of the Americas website © 1998-2012 * Contacts and FAQ page