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What were the religious beliefs of the Algonquin?

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Quick Answer

The Algonquin Indians had a rich mythology centered on Kichi Manido (or "Great Spirit), who was believed to have created the world. Unlike the gods of many other ancient and modern religious traditions, Kichi Manido was formless and without gender.

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Full Answer

Chief among the sins within the Algonquin religious tradition were selfishness, gluttony and cannibalism. Algonquin Indians believed that these behaviors were punished by the Widjigos, man-eating spirits that were known to the Ojibwe as Windigos.

The Algonquin tradition associated natural phenomena with mythological figures. The North Wind and the coming of winter were represented by Bi-bon, for example, while thunder was thought to be the result of Onimiki or Pinesi, the Thunderbird, flapping its wings.

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