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Legendary Native American Figures: Winpe

Name: Winpe
Tribal affiliation: Mi'kmaq
Alternate spellings: Win-pe
Pronunciation: win-pay
Type: Giant

Winpe is a character in Mi'kmaq legends. He is a giant with magical powers who is an adversary of the culture hero Glooskap, having captured the hero's grandmother Nukumi and adopted brother Abistanooj. In some versions of the story, Winpe is an evil, brutish villain who is killed by Glooskap, while in others, he is boisterous but honorable and is defeated by Glooskap in a series of tests of magical power. In one version of the Winpe legend, he was even the originator of the game of lacrosse, which Glooskap took from him and shared with the people.

Winpe Stories

*Glooskap and Winpe:
    Winpe story including the origin of lacrosse.
*The Kidnapping of Glooskap's Family * A Wizard Carries Off Glooscap's Housekeeper:
    Versions of the Winpe legend in which the giant is slain by Glooskap.

Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends

On the Trail of Elder Brother:
    Good book of traditional stories told by a Mi'kmaq author and illustrator.
Giants of the Dawnland:
    Another good collection of Wabanaki legends, told by a Penobscot Indian author.
Algonquian Spirit:
    Excellent anthology of stories, songs, and oral history from the Maliseet and other Algonquian tribes.

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Additional Resources

 We Were Not the Savages
 Mikmaq myths
 Mikmaq words
 Language of Nova Scotia
 Woodland tribes
 Algonkian languages



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