S2 E10: Heroines & Heroes - Native American - Seneca Story of Genonsgwa

Stories That Made Us

06-07-2021 • 29 min

This week, continuing with our theme of Native American folklore, we recount the Seneca tale of Genonsgwa, or the stone giant. Now to put the story into context, the Genonsgwa, is the name of a mythological rock giant of the Iroquois-speaking tribes, of whom the Seneca are a prominent part, living south of Lake Ontario, one of the Great Lakes in North America. In some tribal traditions there is only one such stone giant, while in others, there is a whole race of them. These giants are descibed as being about twice as tall as humans, with their bodies covered in rock-hard scales that repel all normal weapons. They are associated with winter and ice, and they hunt and eat humans. In some legends Genonsgwas were once human, and became cannibal monsters as a curse punishing them for evil deeds, like the Windigos of Chippewa mythology. In other legends, Stone giants were never human, but were a tribe of primordial man-eating monsters.


Reference:

Title: Seneca myths and folk tales

Author: Arthur C. Parker

Link: https://www.gutenberg.org/files/61477/61477-h/61477-h.htm


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Isolated by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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