Native American Indian Animal Spirits: Night Panther

Published on November 16, 2012 by Casey

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Water Panther
Night Panther

Native American Indian Animal Spirits: Night Panther

Name: Water Panther (or Underwater Panther)

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Tribal affiliation: Ojibwe, Algonquin, Ottawa, Menominee, Shawnee, Cree

Native names: Mishibizhiw, Mishibizhii, Mishipeshu, Mishipizheu, Mishibijiw, Mishipizhiw, Mshibzhii, Mshibzhiw, Mishipizhiw, Misipisiw, Mishipiishiiw, Messibizi, Missipissy, Mitchipissy, Michipichi, Mishibizhi, Michipizhiw, Mishupishu, Mishepishu, Michipeshu, Misibizhiw, Michipichik, Msipissi, Msi-Pissi, Msipessi, Missibizi, Michi-Pichoux, Gichi-anami’e-bizhiw, Gitche-anahmi-bezheu, Nampeshiu, Nampèshiu, Nampe’shiu, Nambi-Za, Nampeshi’kw, Nambzhew, Naamipeshiwa, Namipeshiwa, Nah-me-pa-she, Peshipeshiwa, Manetuwi-Rusi-Pissi, Manetúwi Msí-Pissí, Maeci-Pesew, Matc-Piseo, Wiä’bskinit Mätc Pis’eu

Pronunciation: Varies by dialect: usually mih-shih-bih-zhew or mih-shih-bih-zhee in Anishinabe, and nahm-bee-zhuh in Potawatomi

Also known as: Great Lynx, Water Lynx, Night Panther, Matchi-Manitou, Underground Panther, Underneath Panther

Type: Monster, water spirit, panther

Related figures in other tribes: True Tiger (Miami-Illinois)

The Water Panther is a powerful mythological creature something like a cross between a cougar and a dragon. It is a dangerous monster that lives in deep water and causes men and women to drown. The legends of some tribes describe Water Panther as the size of a real lynx or mountain lion, while in others, the beast is enormous. Water Panther has a very long prehensile tail which is often said to be made of copper. Details of the monster vary from community to community, but in many stories, Water Panthers are described as furry with either horns or deer antlers and a sharp saw-toothed back

Source: native-languages Unabridged
Based on the collective work of, © 2015 Native American Encyclopedia.
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Native American Indian Animal Spirits: Night Panther Unabridged. Retrieved May 25, 2015, from website:

Chicago Manual Style (CMS):

Native American Indian Animal Spirits: Night Panther Unabridged. Native American Encyclopedia (accessed: May 25, 2015).

Modern Language Association (MLA):

"Native American Indian Animal Spirits: Night Panther" Unabridged. Native American Encyclopedia 25 May. 2015. <>.

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE):, "Native American Indian Animal Spirits: Night Panther" in Unabridged. Source location: Native American Encyclopedia Available: Accessed: May 25, 2015.

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