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Native American Legends: Gici Awas, the Hairless Bear

Name: Gici Awas
Tribal affiliation: Abenaki, Penobscot
Alternate spellings: Kchi Awas, Ktciawas, Ktci-awa's, Ktsiawas, Ktsiawaas
Pronunciation: gih-chee ah-wahss
Also known as: Great Hairless Bear, Wa'skwekkehs, Wesk'ekkehs, Wuskwekkehs, Weskwekkehso, Wa'skwekkehso
Type: Monster legends, bear
Related figures in other tribes: Big Naked Bear, Katcitowack, Man Eater, Tagesho

Gici Awas was described as a monstrous, man-eating creature resembling an enormous stiff-legged hairless bear with an oversized head. Its names literally mean "great bear" or "great beast," and it is said to be hairless because its fur falls out as a result of eating human flesh. Some folklorists believe the Great Hairless Bair may have been inspired by mammoths or mastodon fossils. You can visit our stiff-legged bear site to read some opinions about that.

Hairless Bear Stories

*The Ktci-awa's and the Witch:
    A young Penobscot hero defeats a night witch and a group of Hairless Bears.

Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends
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Giants of the Dawnland:
    A good collection of Wabanaki legends told by a Penobscot Indian author.
Seven Eyes, Seven Legs:
    Another good book of myths and folktales told and illustrated by an Abenaki author.
When the Chenoo Howls: Native American Tales of Terror:
    Spooky collection of Native American ghost stories and monster tales, told by a Native storyteller.

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Additional Resources

 Abenaki folklore
 Abenaki tribe
 Penobscot tribe
 Abenaki dictionary
 Vermont language
 Woodland Natives
 Algonquian pronunciation



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