Published on November 14, 2012 by Casey
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Tribal affiliation: Maliseet, Passamaquoddy, Micmac
Alternate spellings: Laks, Loks, Luks, Lux, Lahks, Duks, Leux
Also known as: Keekwajoo, Gigwadju, Keehcajoo, Wolverine, Badger, the Indian Devil, Skicinuwi-Wahant, W’skidcinwi Wahant
Pronunciation: Rhymes with “blokes” in Maliseet, “blocks” in Passamaquoddy, or “dukes” in Mi’kmaq. Keekwajoo is pronounced kee-kwah-joo.
Related figures: Lusifee
Lox is a malevolent wolverine spirit of the northern Wabanaki tribes. Among the Mi’kmaq, he is sometimes also known as Keekwajoo (or Ki’kwaju, Gigwa’aju, Kwi’kwa’ju, Kekwajoo, Keekwahjoo, etc,) which comes from the Mi’kmaq word for “wolverine.” (It is mistranslated as “Badger” in some older literature, but this is a clear error– badgers do not live in Wabanaki territory, and Ki’kwaju definitely refers to a wolverine. The French word for wolverine, carcajou, was even borrowed from this Mi’kmaq word.) Skicinuwi-Wahant and W’skidcinwi Wahant are Maliseet-Passamaquoddy translations of “Indian Devil,” which was a common name for this character among English speakers.
Lox usually demonstrates inappropriate social behavior like gluttony, rudeness, impatience, and a bad temper, but in some stories he also plays the role of a deadly monster for humans to beware of. After the introduction of Christianity to the Wabanaki tribes, Lox became identified with Satan, and some fusion French-Indian stories have been recorded in which Lox tries to steal people’s souls.