Native American Indian Animal Spirits: Iwarrika

Published on November 12, 2012 by Casey

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Native American Indian Animal Spirits: Iwarrika

Name: Iwarrika

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Tribal affiliation: Akawaio

Also known as: Iwaryka, Iwarika, Capuchin, Brown Monkey

Pronunciation: ee-wah-rih-kah

Type: Monkey spirit, trickster, flood causer

Iwarrika is a mythological monkey from the Akawaio and other Cariban tribes of South America. He is a trickster figure noted for his intelligence but also his laziness, disobedience, greed, and insatiable curiosity. Iwarrika is blamed for accidentally flooding the earth by disturbing a dam built by the benevolent demigod Sigu, either because of the monkey’s inherent curiosity or because he was trying to steal food from Sigu (depending on the version told.) The name “Iwarrika” literally means “Monkey” in the Akawaio language (in particular it refers to the weeping capuchin… the Carib tribes had different words for many specific types of monkeys.)

Source: native-languages Unabridged
Based on the collective work of, © 2014 Native American Encyclopedia.
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