This article is about the Algonquian deity. For the Iowa state preserve, see Gitchie Manitou State Preserve.
Gitche Manitou (Gitchi Manitou, Kitchi Manitou, etc.) means "Great Spirit" in several Algonquian languages. The term was also utilized to signify God by Christian missionaries, when translating scriptures and prayers, etc. into the Algonquian languages.
Manitou is a common Algonquian term for spirit, mystery, or deity.
2 Other tribes,
3 Related spirits,
4 Manitou as mystical term,
5 See also,
8 External links,
In more recent Anishinaabe culture, the Anishinaabe language word Gichi-manidoo means Great Spirit, the Creator of all things and the Giver of Life, and is sometimes translated as the "Great Mystery." Historically, Anishinaabe people believed in a variety of spirits, whose images were placed near doorways for protection.
According to Anishinaabe-Ojibwa tradition, what became known as Mackinac Island in Michigan was the home of Gitche Manitou. The people would make pilgrimages there for rituals devoted to the spirit.
In Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's The Song of Hiawatha, Gitche Manitou is spelled Gitche Manito.
Other Ojibwa names for God incorporated through the process of syncretism are Gizhe-manidoo ("venerable Manidoo"), Wenizhishid-manidoo ("Fair Manidoo") and Gichi-ojichaag ("Great Spirit"). While Gichi-manidoo and Gichi-ojichaag both mean "Great Spirit", Gichi-manidoo carried the idea of the greater spiritual connectivity while Gichi-ojichaag carried the idea of individual soul's connection to the Gichi-manidoo. Consequently, Christian missionaries often used the term Gichi-ojichaag to refer to the Christian idea of a Holy Spirit.
In addition to the Algonquian Anishinaabeg, many other tribes believed in Gitche Manitou. References to the Great Manitou by the Cheyenne and the Oglala Sioux (notably in the recollections of Black Elk), indicate that belief in this deity extended into the Great Plains, fully across the wider group of Algonquian peoples.
Cognate terms recorded in other Algonquian languages include:
Nanticoke (spoken in Maryland): Gichtschi Manitto,
Unami: Ketanetuwit ( Source: Wikipedia