Pukwudgee

Little People of eastern North America.

Etymology: Delaware and Wampanoag (Al-gonquian), "little wild man of the forest."

Variant names: Bagwajininiwag (Ojibwa/ Algonquian), Bgoji-nin-wag (Ojibwa/Algon-quian), Pa-i-sa-ke (Miami/Algonquian), Pawee-suk, Pia-sa-ki, Pikwatci'ni ("wild Indian"), Puk-wadjiineesuk ("little Indians"), Pukwatcininins ("little man of the woods"), Puk-wud-jie.

Physical description: Height, 2 feet. White skin. Light brown hair.

Behavior: Builds huts of grass and sticks. Wears shirts made of grass or bark. Habitat: Caves along rivers. Distribution: Cape Cod, Massachusetts; Indiana; the Lake Superior area of central Ontario, Canada; northern Minnesota; northern Wisconsin; northern Michigan.

Significant sighting: Paul Startzman saw a lit tle man wearing a blue gown along the White River in Indiana in June 1927. He encountered Pukwudgees several more times in the 1930s and claims that the small, wooden hut- or tepeelike structures he has found in the woods were made by them for shelter.

Sources: Thomas Weston, History of the Town of Middleboro, Massachusetts (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1906), pp. 424-426; Elizabeth Reynard, The Narrow Land: Folk Chronicles ofOld Cape Cod (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1934), pp. 31-33; Paul Startzman, "The Puk-Wud-Jies," Fate 48 (March 1995): 47-50; John E. Roth, American Elves (Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 1997), pp. 19-20; Paul Startzman, The Puk-Wud-Jies of Indiana (Pittsburgh, Pa.: Dorrance, 1998); Tim Swartz, "The Little People," Strange Magazine, no. 21 (Fall 2000), on line at http://www.strangemag.com.

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