Published on November 15, 2012 by Casey
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Tribal affiliation: Abenaki
Alternate spellings: Mategwas, Mahtegwas, Mat-gwas
Type: Ruler of the dead, rabbit
Related figures in other tribes: Chipiapoos (Potawatomi)
The rabbit is a light-hearted trickster animal in other Wabanaki tribes, but in Abenaki mythology, he is the elder brother of the culture hero Glooskap who died and became ruler of the underworld, communicating with his younger brother from beyond the grave to give him spiritual secrets to share with the people. The Abenaki Mateguas shares many similarities with underworld deities of the Great Lakes Algonquian tribes such as the Potawatomi and Ojibwe rather than the more typical figures of Wabanaki mythology.