Published on November 15, 2012 by Casey
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Tribal affiliation: Passamaquoddy, Maliseet
Alternate spellings: Mahtigwess, Mategwes, Chematiquess
Also known as: Great Rabbit
Type: Trickster, rabbit
Related figures in other tribes: Ableegumooch (Mi’kmaq)
Mahtoqehs is a light-hearted trickster animal of Maliseet-Passamaquoddy folktales. He usually appears in the literal form of a rabbit and spends his time tricking, robbing, and deceiving the other animals of the forest. Like modern cartoon characters, he sometimes dies as a result of his capricious behavior and then randomly returns to life. Mahtoqehs 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 is sometimes said to be a friend of Kluskap.