Legendary Native American Figures: The Water Panther (Mishipeshu)
Name: Water Panther (or Underwater Panther) Tribal affiliation:Ojibwe, Algonquin, Ottawa, Menominee, Shawnee, Cree Native names: Mishibizhiw, Mishibizhii, Mishipeshu, Mishipizheu, Mishibijiw, Mishipizhiw, Mshibzhii, Mshibzhiw,
Mishipizhu, Misipisiw, Mishipiishiiw, Messibizi, Missipissy, Mitchipissy, Michipichi, Mishibizhi, Michipizhiw, Mishupishu,
Mishepishu, Michipeshu, Misibizhiw, Michipichik, Msipissi, Msi-Pissi, Msipessi, Missibizi, Michi-Pichoux, Gichi-anami'e-bizhiw,
Gitche-anahmi-bezheu, Nampeshiu, Nambiza, Nampèshiu, Nampe'shiu, Nambi-Za, Nampeshi'kw, Nambzhew, Naamipeshiwa, Namipeshiwa,
Nah-me-pa-she, Peshipeshiwa, Manetuwi-Rusi-Pissi, Manetúwi Msí-Pissí, Maeci-Pesew, Matc-Piseo, Wiä'bskinit Mätc Pis'eu Pronunciation: Varies by dialect: usually mih-shih-bih-zhew or mih-shih-bih-zhee in Anishinabe, and nahm-bee-zhuh in Potawatomi Also known as: Great Lynx, Water Lynx, Night Panther, Matchi-Manitou, Underground Panther, Underneath Panther Type:Monster, water spirit, panther Related figures in other tribes:True Tiger (Miami-Illinois), Tie-Snake (Southeast tribes)
The Water Panther (or Water Lynx) is a powerful mythological creature something like a cross between a cougar and a dragon.
Water Panther is a dangerous monster that lives in deep water and causes men and women to drown. The legends of some
tribes describe Water Panther as the size of a real lynx or mountain lion, while in others, the beast is enormous.
Water Panther has a very long prehensile tail which is often said to be made of copper.
Details of the monster vary from community to community, but in many stories, Water Panthers are described
as furry with either horns or deer antlers and a sharp saw-toothed back.
Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends
Good collection of traditional folktales retold by an Ojibway author.
Excellent anthology of stories, songs, and oral history from the Ojibwe and other Algonquian tribes.