Native American language
Native American culture
Native American Indian nations
Native American Legends: Matanto (Matantu)
Tribal affiliation: Lenape,
Alternate spellings: Matantu, Mahtantu, Matantoow, Mtantoow, Mtan-toow, Muttontoe, Mahtan'tu, Matantu
Pronunciation: muh-tun-toh or muh-tun-too
Related figures in other tribes: Atlantow (Mohican),
In Lenape mythology, Matanto is the manëtu (spirit) of death. He was portrayed as a destructive, often evil being usually in opposition to
Ketanëtuwit. Matanto is associated with bats, stinging insects, and poisonous
plants, all of which he is said to have created. After the introduction of Christianity, Lenape people frequently identified Mahtantu with the Devil.
Legends of the Delawares:
Collection of Delaware Indian folktales including four in Lenape (with English translation.)
Mythology of the Lenape:
An overview of the Lenape worldview and belief system including several legends and traditional stories.
Excellent anthology of stories, songs, and oral history from the Delaware and other Algonquian tribes.
New Jersey Indians
Eastern Woodland Indians
Native Languages of the Americas website © 1998-2020 Contacts and FAQ page
Back to Native Mythology
Learn more about the Lenape Indians.
American Indian genealogy
Native American beaded moccasins
American Indian names
Would you like to help support our organization's work with endangered American Indian languages?