Published on November 22, 2012 by Casey
Name: Cyclone Person
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Tribal affiliation: Shawnee, Lenape
Native names: Kako-u’hthé, Kaka-8thé
Also known as: Cyclone Man, Cyclone Woman
Type: Storm spirit, tornado
A storm spirit of the Shawnee and Lenape tribes. Some sources identify Cyclone Person as male (like the other Algonquian wind spirits), while others identify Cyclone Person as female (like Whirlwind of the Iroquois tribes.) It’s possible that Cyclone Person was not originally anthropomorphized at all, like the Great Spirit, and over time the different communities, living in locations far away from each other, came to conceptualize this being differently. The dark tendrils of a tornado are described as the long flying hair of Cyclone Person. Despite this being’s destructive power, she (or he) is not considered antagonistic and is usually viewed positively, particularly by the Shawnees, who consider Cyclone Person a kindred spirit and friend of their tribe. In the old days, it was said that Shawnee people had no fear of tornados because Cyclone Person would not intentionally harm them. Even today, some Shawnees in Oklahoma like to point out that tornados have never destroyed the houses on their reservation.