Freshwater Monster of northeastern North America.

Etymology: Abnaki-Penobscot and Malecite-Passamaquoddy (Algonquian), "snail."

Variant names: Weewilmekq, Wiwil'mekq, Wiwilmeku.

Physical description: Serpentine. Length, 30-40 feet. Soft horns.

Behavior: Lurks under waterfalls. Habitat: Both freshwater and saltwater. Distribution: Boyden Lake, Maine; New Brunswick, Canada.

Significant sighting: The eighteenth-century Penobscot shaman old John Neptune (or, more probably, a similarly named ancestor) battled an enemy Micmac warrior who took the form of his familiar spirit, a huge water snake, on the east side of Boyden Lake.

Sources: Charles Leland, Algonquin Legends of New England (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1884), pp. 324-329, 345-347; Albert S. Gatschet, "Water-Monsters of American


Carving depicting two WIWILIAMECQS, on the handle of a club that may have belonged to the eighteenth-century Penobscot shaman Old John Neptune. (Gerry Biron)

Aborigines," Journal of American Folklore 12 (1899): 255-260; Fannie Hardy Eckstorm, Old John Neptune and Other Maine Indian Shamans (Portland, Me.: Southworth-Anthoensen Press, 1945), pp. 39-48.

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