Native American Mermaids: Nibiinaabe

Published on October 30, 2012 by Casey

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Native American Mermaids: Nibiinaabe

Name: Nibiinaabe

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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.)

Source: native-languages Unabridged
Based on the collective work of, © 2014 Native American Encyclopedia.
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American Psychological Association (APA):

Native American Mermaids: Nibiinaabe Unabridged. Retrieved October 01, 2014, from website:

Chicago Manual Style (CMS):

Native American Mermaids: Nibiinaabe Unabridged. Native American Encyclopedia (accessed: October 01, 2014).

Modern Language Association (MLA):

"Native American Mermaids: Nibiinaabe" Unabridged. Native American Encyclopedia 01 Oct. 2014. <>.

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE):, "Native American Mermaids: Nibiinaabe" in Unabridged. Source location: Native American Encyclopedia Available: Accessed: October 01, 2014.

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Did You Know?

John Bennett, of the Chickasaw Nation, was the first Native American in space. On the evening of Nov. 23, 2002 his Space Shuttle launched and he would spend the next 11 days in orbit.

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