Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Puckwudgie (Algonquian)

     “The Pukwudgie is also native to America: a short, grey-faced, large-eared creature distantly related to the European goblin. Fiercely independent, tricky and not over-fond of humankind (whether magical or mundane), it possesses its own powerful magic. Pukwudgies hunt with deadly, poisonous arrows and enjoy playing tricks on humans... Faithful to the taboos of his people, the Pukwudgie refused to tell her his individual name, so she dubbed him ‘William’ after her father.”
JK Rowling Puckwudgie Description from

 Puckwudgie (Algonquian) from Native Languages of the Americas website:
Name: Pukwudgie
Tribal affiliation: OjibweAlgonquinAbenakiWampanoagMohican
Alternate spellings: Bagwajiwinini, Bagwajinini, Pukwudjininee, Puckwijinee, Puk-Wudjie, Pukwujininee, Bokwjimen, Bogwejimen, Bgwajinini, Pok-wejee-men, Pok-wegee-men, Puckwudgie, Pukwudgee, Pagwadjinini, Pagwadjininì, Bagudzinini, Pukwatcininins, Puk-wud-gie, Puck wudj ininees, Pakwatcininins, Paweesuk, Paueeseegug, Paueehnsuk, Pikwatci'ni, Pukwadjiineesuk, Pakwatcininins, Bgoji-nini, Bagudjzinishinabe. The plural form of their name in the Algonquian languages is Bogwejimenak, Bagwajininiwok, Bgwajininwag, Pagwajininiwag, Bagwajininiwag, Pukwadjiineesuk, Pugwudgininiwug, Bgoji-nin-wag, Bgoji-ninwag, etc.
Pronunciation: bug-wuh-jih-wih-nih-nee, bug-wuh-jih-nih-nee, or boog-wuh-jee-mun, depending on the tribe
Also known as: Apa'iins, Pai'iins, Pa'iins, or Pahiins all of which literally mean "Little Ones" or "Little People" in Anishinabe languages.
Type: Little peopleantagonists (in Wampanoag lore)
Related figures in other tribes: Mikumwess (Micmac), Paissa (Miami)

Pukwudgies are magical little people of the forest in Algonquian folklore, similar to European gnomes or fairies. Pukwudgie stories are told throughout the northeastern United States, southeastern Canada, and the Great Lakes region. However, their nature varies in the folklore of different tribes. In the Ojibwe and other Great Lakes tribes, the pukwudgie (or bagwajinini) is considered a mischievous but basically good-natured creature who plays tricks on people but is not dangerous. In the Abenaki and other northeast Algonquian tribes, a pukwudgie (or bokwjimen) can be dangerous, but only to people who treat him with disrespect. In the Wampanoag and other tribes of southern New England, pukwudgies are capricious and dangerous creatures who may play harmless tricks or even help a human neighbor, but are just as likely to steal children or commit deadly acts of sabotage. According to some Wampanoag stories, pukwudgies were enemies of the culture hero Maushop and were even responsible for his death (or the deaths of his sons.)

Pukwudgies are usually described as being knee-high or even smaller. Their name literally means 'person of the wilderness' and they are usually considered to be spirits of the forest. In some traditions, they have a sweet smell and are associated with flowers. Pukwudgies have magical powers which vary from tribe to tribe but may include the ability to turn invisible, confuse people or make them forget things, shapeshift into cougars or other dangerous animals, or bring harm to people by staring at them.
 Related figures in other tribes: Mikumwess (Wabanaki), Memegwesi (Anishinabe)

Makiawisug, or the Little People
"They are dense, bulky and born from the stones of the earth.
 But they are also delicate, wearing lady slipper flowers as moccasins."

     “The rocks of Mohegan Hill are the home of the Makiawisug, or Little People. After nightfall, the call of the Whip-poor-will signals their arrival. They are good spirits, but the Mohegans know they must be treated with respect, according to tradition. It is important to leave baskets of food, such as corn cakes and berries, or even meat in the woods for them. Wearing moccasin flowers for shoes, they gather the gifts at night. In fact, Makiawisug means "whip-poor-will moccasins."
     They have their own rules of etiquette. Those who see the Little People should not look directly at them, they think it's rude. If they catch you staring, they might point a finger at you, rooting you to the ground, while they take your belongings. Another rule is don't speak of them in the summer, when they are most active.
     But in return for kindness, they taught the Mohegan people how to grow corn and use healing plants. They keep the earth well and grant favors for those who honor their ways.”

 The Little People Who Live Under the Hill

In September of 2012, a developer trying to build housing in Montville, Connecticut received some surprising news during a town hearing. They would need to alter their project because it threatened small stone structures that had been made by magical, dwarf-like creatures that lived underground... 
    ...magical little people are an ancient tradition among the Algonquian tribes that are native to this area, and the developer was planning to build 120 units of housing on Mohegan Hill, which is the historic and spiritual home of the sovereign Mohegan Tribe. Although the hill is not technically within the boundaries of the tribe's reservation, it is still very important to them. A letter from the tribe's historic preservation officer explained the significance of the stone structures:
The sacred stone piles on Mohegan Hill are a critical feature of the traditional landscape of Mohegan Hill; they were created by the “Little People” who live deep within the ground of Mohegan Hill. These “Little People” or Makiawisug are the ancient culture heroes of this region. These stone piles also possess powers that protect the Mohegan people from outsiders. Not only do the “Little People” still live within the ground on the Hill and continue to guard the stones, these stone piles are perceived as being made of the bones of Mother Earth and they contain messages that guide generation after generation of Mohegan People. Contemporary Mohegan tribal members make offerings to the “Little People” in hopes that they will continue to protect our Tribe."

1 comment:

  1. Wonderfully article. Same pukky little legendary people reported in this article and giant sign at Little Girls Point toward SW shore of Lake Superior, north of Ironwood, Michigan. (I know friends digging for years hoping to find 'Aztec' gold, as reportedly old man Triplett did).