Native American Indian Animal Spirits: Great Fisher

Published on November 13, 2012 by Casey

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Great Fisher
Great Fisher

Native American Indian Animal Spirits: Great Fisher

Name: Great Fisher

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Tribal affiliation: Ojibway, Algonquin

Native names: Gitchi Odjig, Gichi Ojiig, Gitchie Ojig

Pronunciation: varies by dialect: usually gih-chee oh-jeeg

Also known as: Fisher Star, Odjig-Anung, Ojigwanung, Ojiig’anang, Ochekatak

Type: Hero, fisher, stars

Related figures in other tribes: Abistanooj (Mi’kmaq)

Great Fisher is a hero of the mythic age and a friend (in some stories, the adopted elder brother) of the culture hero Nanabozho. He has magical powers and is distinguished by his bravery against large and dangerous monsters. Like many Native American heroes, Gitchi Odjig is portrayed sometimes as an animal (in this case a kind of weasel called a fisher) and other times as a man. After bringing summer to the world, Great Fisher became the constellation commonly known as the Big Dipper; according to some tellings his son Little Fisher also became the Little Dipper.

Source: native-languages Unabridged
Based on the collective work of, © 2015 Native American Encyclopedia.
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