Pukwudgie the porcupine man

What Is a Pukwudgie? If You See One, It’s Best to Stay Away

Pukwudgies were known to Native Americans, who gave them a wide berth.

Long before Europeans ever stepped foot in the New World, the legends of pukwudgies were already quite robust. Pukwudgies, also known as bagwajinini, were said to live in the wilderness throughout North America. Native Americans believed that pukwudgies were creatures that had once lived in harmony with humans but had turned against them. They featured in the folklore of diverse tribes, from the Wampanoag tribe of Massachusetts and Southern New England to the Algonquian tribe of the Great Lakes region. And according to various legends, it was best to leave the creatures alone.

Pukwudgie translates to “person of the wilderness.” They were said to be small creatures, ranging from knee-height to about three feet tall, with human-like features, yet sporting larger ears, noses, and fingers. Their skin has been described as grey and smooth, and they have often been compared to trolls and goblins. The small creatures also have a variety of tricks up their sleeves to taunt or harm humans.

The threat that pukwudgies posed tended to vary from region to region. In some places they were considered benign, even helpful to humans. In others they were mischievous, but harmless. And in other regions–they were murderous.

  • Photo Credit: Cryptid Wiki

The Wampanoag tribe has a particularly detailed origin story of the pukwudgies. Legend has it that the creatures originally got along well with humans, but humans were distracted by their relationship with Maushop, a giant kind-spirited deity who created the land mass we now know as Cape Cod. The jealous pukwudgies were offended that they weren’t as well-loved as Maushop and began to cause more and more mischief. After the Wampanoags had a talk with Maushop’s wife, Maushop exiled the pukwudgies and forcefully spread them far and wide throughout North America. 

However, many of the pukwudgies found their way back and instigated a more belligerent relationship with humans and Maushop, eventually killing Maushop’s 5 sons. Some variations even suggest that they killed Maushop himself, and this legend coincides with the giant disappearing from Wampanoag folklore. 

Like leprechauns, the legendary little people of Ireland, pukwudgies are capricious. Their powers depend on which tribe you ask. A human who annoyed a pukwudgie might just be the victim of some unpleasant trickery, but they might also be pushed from a cliff, shot with fiery arrows, or have their children stolen. Pukwudgies could also create fire or orbs that lured people into deep woods to their doom. They had the power of invisibility and in some places could transform into dangerous animals like cougars. Perhaps most frightening of all is the rumor that they had power over the spirits of the people they had killed.

Steve Ramsey, Alberta.  Canada

Related Images:

By Dr.Steve Ramsey,PhD

Greeting from Calgary, Alberta - Canada. My name is Saad Al-Hashimi. Known as Steve Ramsey PhD, I am the founder and the director of the Paranormal zone- Haunting Dimensions. That deals with an investigation, debunking, and healing/cleansing since 1986. Having had many unexplainable experiences from a young age at a possible "haunted" house where plenty of things seemed to happen that I couldn’t explain, since that time and I am looking and searching for an answer. After continuing to have many experiences that I just cannot explain, I have since become a firm believer that GHOSTS do exist. I continued for a short while as a member of a few other paranormal groups until I was very fortunate to become involved with a local fast growing organization where I felt very comfortable to start my own paranormal investigation. My best experience has been Indio California, Okotoks Alberta, Baghdad city , and many other places in Greece and North Canada. (yes I do believe spirits can hurt you so you have to be careful not to provoke or challenge a spirit ). I won’t tell you the whole story now but you are more than welcome to ask me on a ghost hunt. I am now looking forward to meeting many more people, all looking for that ‘experience’ that could possibly convince them that there is something more to life than we first thought. So please feel free to email me drsteveramsey@gmail.com I have been involved in several paranormal groups over the years. Paranormal Adventures is different and exciting in ways I couldn’t possibly get before. When people ask if I believe in ghosts, I say I am a skeptical believer. I have had many encounters with spirit forms and believe what I have seen to be real and unexplainable. I always look for a normal mundane reason why at the same time. My area of expertise in the field of science. I have Ph.D. in Public Health from the USA, Master degree in Medical Ultrasound and BSc Degree in Diagnostic Imaging from Charles Sturt University Australia, BSc in Physics, and Radiology diploma from Iraq, Pharmacy diploma. Radiography diploma from London Ontario, Diploma in Natural Health from Quebec, Canada. Radiation physics from Australia, I studied the infra and ultrasound in the animal kingdom.P resented more than 20 lectures in Iraq, Greece, Germany, South Korea, Japan, Canada and I am the peer reviewer for the radiographer journal in UK, Netherlands, and South Africa. Earned the 3rd award for excellence in ultrasound - Canada 2005. I am also armature archaeologist, painter, calligrapher, and used to run acting theater play in Iraq- Baghdad, wrote, directed and acted in more than 27 plays. So debunking come naturally in my science and technology back round, and not like other debunking people around you who use Google for their search and call them self-debunkers, It doesn't work that way. In the near future, I will run live internet ghost hunts with night vision cameras giving users at home the chance to watch the spooky footage on, in my nights out. I look forward to seeing you all soon on one of our many events! I loved reading ghost stories and sitting on my own in the dark watching horror films. However. I Can decode dreams, and I see spirits in my dreams. I like to look at things from a scientific point of view and try to rule out all rational possibilities before concluding that events are paranormal. However, I do try to keep an open mind on all investigations. I started taking part in investigations since 1986; my first investigation usually any house, apartment that I move in or my friend's places. For many of my true paranormal stories you can read them at www.linkedin.com I will try to copy and move all my articles here in this site in near future. Thank you for reading and God Bless you all. Steve Ramsey PhD. Alberta