Published on November 10, 2012 by Casey
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Tribal affiliation: Lenape, Munsee
Alternate spellings: Wematekan’is, Way-mah-tah-kun-eese, Wèmahtèkënis, Wemahtekenis, Matekanis
Also known as: Manëtutëtak, Manetutetak, Wood Dwarves
Type: Little people, nature spirits
Related figures in other tribes: Mannegishi (Cree), Mikumwes (Wabanaki), Pukwudgie (Anishinabe)
Wemategunis are little people like sprites or dwarves, said to be about as tall as a man’s waist. They are mischievous but generally benevolent forest spirits, though they can be dangerous if they are disrespected. Wemategunis have immense strength for their size, and in some folklore, they have magical powers such as the ability to become invisible. They may help people who are kind to them or tolerate their tricks with good humor. In some legends they even serve as messengers of the Great Spirit.