Native American Serpents: Big Water Snake

Published on October 25, 2012 by Casey

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Big Water Snake
Big Water Snake

Native American Serpents: Big Water Snake

Name: Big Water Snake

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Tribal affiliation: Blackfoot

Names in Blackfoot: Omachk-soyis-ksiksinai, Omahksoyisksiksina

Pronunciation: similar to oh-mock-soh-yisk-sick-sin-uh.

Also known as: Horned Snake, Water-Monster, Horned Monster, Great Serpent,

Type: Lake monster, giant serpent

Related figures in other tribes: Mishi-Ginebig (Anishinabe), Gitaskog (Abenaki), Maneto (Fox), Mihni (Cheyenne)

Big Water Snake is an underwater horned serpent, common to the legends of most Algonquian tribes. “Big Water Snake” is a literal translation of its Blackfoot name, Omahksoyisksiksina. Big Water Snakes are dangerous man-eating creatures known for lurking in lakes and rivers and attacking unwary travelers. Their sworn enemies are the Thunderbirds, who can kill them with bolts of thunder. Despite their fearsome appearance and deadly behavior towards humans, Big Water Snakes are respected spirit beings and Blackfoot people sometimes used protective Water Snake designs on sacred objects such as tipi covers, pipe bags and medicine pouches.

Source: native-languages Unabridged
Based on the collective work of, © 2015 Native American Encyclopedia.
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Chicago Manual Style (CMS):

Native American Serpents: Big Water Snake Unabridged. Native American Encyclopedia (accessed: May 30, 2015).

Modern Language Association (MLA):

"Native American Serpents: Big Water Snake" Unabridged. Native American Encyclopedia 30 May. 2015. <>.

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