Native American Little People: Manogamesak

Published on November 9, 2012 by Casey

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Native American Little People: Manogamesak

Name: Manogemasak

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Tribal affiliation: Abenaki, Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Maliseet

Alternate spellings: Manôgemasak, Manongamasak, Manogamesak, Manongemassak, Wanagemeswak, Wana-games-ak, Wunagmeswook, Wonakomehsok, Wonakomeswok, Oonahgemessuk, Unagemeswak, Wonakomehsisok, W’nag’meswak, W’nag’meswuk, Wanagameswak, Wu-nag-mes-wook, Wanagmeswak, Warnungmeksooark, Wanangmeswak, Wanongmekosooark, Wan’ek mehswak, Wan’akamehsawak

Pronunciation: mah-nawn-guh-mah-sock (in Abenaki-Penobscot) or wuh-nah-guh-mass-uk (in Maliseet-Passamaquoddy.)

Also known as: “Manogemasak” is the plural form of their name. The singular is Manogemas, Manôgemasiz, Manogames, Wanagames, Wonakomehs, Wunagames, Unagemes, Wonakomehsis, Oonahgemessos, Oonahgemes, Ooargamess, We’naga’mes, Wanagamess, Wna’game’su, Manogama’s, etc.

Type: Indian little people, river spirits

Related figures in other tribes: Wiklatmuj (Micmac), Memegwesi (Ojibway), Paissa (Miami)

One of several races of legendary little people in Wabanaki folklore, manogemasak are river-elves who make their homes in rocky riverbanks. Manogamasak are nature spirits who are generally friendly to the Wabanaki people but may sometimes capsize canoes, tear fishing nets, or cause other mischief. They have narrow faces, which some stories describe as being so thin they cannot be seen except in profile. When clay or silt deposits along the riverbank resemble people or animals, they are said to be sculptures made by the manogemasak, and bring good luck to the person who finds them. Rocks by the side of a river with geometric markings on them are considered to mark the home of a manogemasak family and are best left undisturbed.

Source: native-languages Unabridged
Based on the collective work of, © 2015 Native American Encyclopedia.
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American Psychological Association (APA):

Native American Little People: Manogamesak Unabridged. Retrieved March 30, 2015, from website:

Chicago Manual Style (CMS):

Native American Little People: Manogamesak Unabridged. Native American Encyclopedia (accessed: March 30, 2015).

Modern Language Association (MLA):

"Native American Little People: Manogamesak" Unabridged. Native American Encyclopedia 30 Mar. 2015. <>.

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE):, "Native American Little People: Manogamesak" in Unabridged. Source location: Native American Encyclopedia Available: Accessed: March 30, 2015.

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    title = { Unabridged},
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    year = 2015,
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Did You Know?

The State of Tennessee is named after the Cherokee Village called "Tanasi." The term "Tenasi" is what the Cherokee villagers called the River and the exact meaning has been lost.

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