Published on October 30, 2012 by Casey
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Tribal affiliation: Ojibway, Algonquin, Potawatomi, Menominee
Alternate spellings: Nibinabe, Nibanaba, Nibanabe, Ne-bo-na-bee, Niba Nabais, Nebaunaube, Negaunabe. The plural form is Nibiinaabeg (also spelled Neebananbaig or Ne-ban-a-baig.) Nibiinabekwe is a feminine form of the same word.
Pronunciation: Varies by dialect: usually nih-bee-nah-bay
Type: Little people, mermaids, nature spirits
Related figures in other tribes: Lampeqin (Passamaquoddy), Halfway People (Mi’kmaq)
The Nibiinaabe are a race of water sprites from Anishinabe folklore. They are usually described as being shaped like mermaids, with human torsos and fish tails. They are said to be frightened off by loud noises.
Mermaids are also used as a clan symbol in the Ojibwe tribe (whose Mermaid Clan and its totem are called Nibiinaabe or Nibanaba.)