Published on November 14, 2012 by Casey
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Tribal affiliation: Mi’kmaq
Alternate spellings: Kiwnik, Kiwnik, Kiwonik, Ki-won-ik, Keeoony, Keeoonik
Also known as: Otter
Type: Trickster, otter
Keoonik is a light-hearted trickster animal of Mi’kmaq folktales. He usually appears in the literal form of a otter and spends his time tricking, robbing, and deceiving the other animals of the forest, especially his trickster rival Ableegumooch. Like modern cartoon characters, they sometimes kill themselves or each other with their tricks and then randomly return to life Keoonik is the main character of many stories aimed at children. He often behaves foolishly or causes trouble for others, but unlike animal tricksters in some other tribes, is not dangerous or malevolent and rarely causes lasting harm. Ableegumooch and Keoonik are popular characters with storytellers and stories about the two of them have also been borrowed into the folklore of neighboring tribes such as the Maliseet and Penobscot.