Published on November 9, 2012 by Casey
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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.