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MANITOU or MANITO (Algonquian Indian, " mystery," " supernatural "), among certain American Indian tribes, a spirit or genius of good or evil. The manitou is almost always an animal, each individual having one assigned him, generally by dream-inspiration, at the greatest religious act of his life his first fast. This animal then becomes his fetish; its skin is carried as a charm, and representations of it are tattooed and painted on the body or engraved on the weapons.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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