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Native American Legends

Anisga ya Tsunsdi "Little Men"

A Cherokee Legend

Always represented as beneficent wonder-makers of great power. These two sons of Kanati (first man), who are sometimes called "Thunder Boys," live in Usunhi-yi, above the sky vault. They must not be confused with the Yunwi Tsunsdi' or Little People, who are also "thunderers," but who live on the earth and cause the short, sharp claps of thunder. The "Little Men" have reproduced themselves by striking lightening very near a woman, giving birth to a human with the same characteristics as the Little People.

There is also the "Great Thunderer," the thunder of the whirlwind, tornado and hurricane, who seems to be identical with Kanati, himself. The favorite honey locust tree, and the tree with thorns of the same species, is the home of the "Thunder-man", indicating to the Cherokee a great hidden connection between the pinnated leaves of the tree and the lightening.

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