Clarissa Johal: #Paranormal Wednesday-Native American Mythology: Little People

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

#Paranormal Wednesday-Native American Mythology: Little People

Little people (fairy folk, dwarves, water spirits, goblins, pixies, gnomes, brownies, etc.) have been part of many cultures in human history. When immigrants settled in the United States, they brought the folklore with them, to be passed down from generation to generation. But the Native Americans had been telling stories of little people for hundreds of years. They tell of a race of little people who live in the woods and around bodies of water. From tribe to tribe there are variations of what these little people were like. They could be tricksters, good or evil, but it was also said that, if seen, they would reward humans for keeping their existence a secret by helping them in times of need. In general, they were described as hairy-faced dwarfs with large heads, large eyes and no nose. Their voices were said to be strange, sounding like the hum of a dragonfly. They had long, thin legs and arms and were said to have six fingers on each hand. Some petroglyphs show them with horns on their head.

The following is only a small list taken from Native American mythology. I found them all quite interesting.

Anishinaabe: Memegwesi - riverbank-dwelling water spirits. Generally benign, but known to blow canoes astray or steal things when they are not shown proper respect. In some Ojibwe traditions, Memegwesi can only be seen by children and medicine people; in others, they can appear to anyone, and may help humans who give them tobacco and other gifts. It is sometimes said that Memegwesi were originally created from the bark of trees. 
Cherokee: Yunwi Tsundi - a race of small humanoid nature spirits. Benevolent creatures, they have magical powers and are said to harshly punish people who are disrespectful or aggressive towards them.
Comanche: Nunnupi - dangerous man-eaters and enemies of human beings.
Cree: Mannegishi - a race of trickster people said to live between rocks in the rapids. They like to capsize canoes and cause other mischief. 
Crow: Nirumbee or AwwakkulĂ© - a race of savage dwarves. They are able to bestow blessings or spiritual insight to certain individuals. They have large, round bellies; strong but short arms and legs; and little or no neck.
Inuit: Ishigaq - similar to fairies. They leave no footprints in the snow--it is said they are either too light or float above the ground.
Shoshone: Nimerigar -aggressive man-eaters and enemies of human beings. They shoot poisoned arrows from tiny bows. 
Wampanoag: Pukwudgie - resemble humans, but with large noses, fingers and ears. Their skin is described as being grey, and they've been known to glow. They can appear and disappear at will, transform into a walking porcupine, attack people and lure them to their deaths. They have poison arrows, use magic, and can create fire at will. Pukwudgies control Tei-Pai-Wankas which are believed to be the souls of Native Americans they have killed.
Yup'ik: Ircinraq - one side of this creature is animal, while the other side is that of a man. Ircinraq are said to inhabit mountain areas.

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