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Native American Legends: Kuekuatsheu (Carcajou)

Name: Kuekuatsheu
Tribal affiliation: Innu, Naskapi, James Bay Cree
Alternate spellings: Carcajou, Kuekuatseu, Kwekwatshew, Kwiwha'tcu, Kwakwadje'o, Kuikuhâchâu, Kuîhkwâhchâw, Kwâhkwâchâw, Kwakwadjec
Pronunciation: similar to kway-kwah-choo
Type: Wolverine, Tricksters
Related figures: Loks

Kuekuatsheu is the Innu Wolverine, a conniving trickster character who lies, cheats, is greedy, and basically acts completely inappropriately by Innu standards-- usually in the funniest possible way. Unlike Wolverine characters in some Algonquian mythologies, Kuekuatsheu is not malevolent, violent, or dangerous, and Innu stories about him are usually humorous in nature. Sometimes they involve a lot of bathroom or bedroom humor, though, so take care about sharing them with young children! One Innu Carcajou myth which is told with more reverence is the creation of the earth, which Kuekuatsheu accomplishes with the help of Mink (or in some communities, Muskrat.)

Native American Kuekuatsheu Stories

Wolverine Invited the Birds to the Drum Dance:
    Innu legend about Kuekuatseu tricking a group of gullible ducks and geese.
Wolverine the Creator:
    Brief telling of an Innu legend about Kuekuatsheu and the creation of the world.
The Legend of Kuikuhâchâu:
    Cree myth about Kuekuatsheu's adventures defeating a skunk monster and a family of ogres.

Recommended Books of Related Native American Stories
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Wolverine Creates The World:
    Collection of Innu legends and folktales from Labrador, including many Kwekwatshew tales.
Algonquian Spirit:
    Anthology of stories, songs, and oral history from the Naskapi and other Algonquian tribes.

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Additional Resources

 Innu legends
 Innu language
 Cree Indians
 Canadian Native Americans
 Northeast Woodlands region
 Algic family tree



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