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Native American Legends: Wuchowsen (Wind Bird)
Tribal affiliation: Abenaki, Penobscot,
Alternate spellings: Wajosen, Wocawson, Wuchowsin, Wudjausen, Wochowsen, Wotjou'san, Wad-zoo-sen,
Wutcau's'n, Wu'cho'sen, Wju'sn, Wiju'sin
Pronunciation: wad-joe-sun (Abenaki-Penobscot), wuh-chow-sun (Passamaquoddy-Maliseet), or wuh-joo-sen (Mi'kmaq.)
Also known as: Wind Eagle, Wind Bird
Type: Giant bird, nature spirit, wind
Wuchowsen is a gigantic immortal bird spirit whose wings make the wind.
Though Wuchowsen is monstrous in size and the winds he creates can be deadly, he is not
treated as a monster in Wabanaki legends, but rather as a natural force of the world that must be respected.
In most legends, either
Glooskap or a mortal hero attempts to stop
Wuchowsen's wings from flapping, only to find that the world cannot survive without wind;
Wuchowsen is restored to power, but is either persuaded to moderate the wind he creates
or forced to do so by having one of his wings tied or broken.
Gluscabi and Wuchowsen Why We Need Wind How Glooskap Bound Wuchowsen, the Great Wind-Bird:
The culture hero Gluskabe decides to stop Wocawson from making wind, and learns a lesson about the world.
The Great Wind Eagle:
In this version of the story, a Maliseet man breaks Wocawson's wing and Kluskap must restore balance by healing it.
The Bird whose Wings Made the Wind:
In this Mi'kmaq story, a mortal hero does both the injuring and the healing of Wuchowsen.
Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends
The Wind Eagle and Other Abenaki Stories:
Legends about Wuchowsen and other Abenaki characters, told by Abenaki storyteller Joseph Bruchac.
Giants of the Dawnland:
A good collection of Wabanaki legends told by a Penobscot Indian author.
On the Trail of Elder Brother:
Another good book of traditional Wabanaki stories, told by a Mi'kmaq author and illustrator.
Excellent anthology of stories, songs, and oral history from the Maliseet and other Algonquian tribes.
Voice of the Dawn
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