Ninimbe

LITTLE People of the western United States.

Etymology: Shoshoni (Uto-Aztecan), "mountain man."

Variant names: Nimerigar (Arapaho/ Algonquian), Ninimbeb, Ninimpi, Ninumbee (Bannock/Uto-Aztecan), Nu'numbi (Northern Paiute/Uto-Aztecan), Toyanum (Goshute/Uto-Aztecan), U-nu'-pits (Paiute/Uto-Aztecan).

Physical description: Like a tiny version of Santa Claus. Height, 2 inches-3 feet. Large head. Short legs. Small feet. Has a tail.

Behavior: Good stalker and fighter. Low intelligence. Wears goatskins. Dresses in green. Kills deer with poisoned arrows. Draws pic-tographs. Said to be cannibalistic. Habitat: Rocky areas, bushes, wells. Distribution: Wyoming; Oregon; southern Idaho; Nevada; Utah; northern Arizona.

Significant sighting: The Ninimbe angered the Arapahoes, who rounded them up in a canyon and set them on fire.

Sources: Sarah E. Olden, Shoshone Folklore (Milwaukee, Wis.: Milwaukee Publishing, 1923), pp. 8-12, 33-34; Ake Hultkrantz, "An Ideological Dichotomy: Myths and Folk Beliefs among the Shoshoni Indians of Wyoming," History ofReligions 11 (1972): 339-353; John E. Roth, American Elves (Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 1997), pp. 17, 126-132.

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