Manitou, among some tribes of the American Indians, the name of any object of worship. "TheIllinois," wrote the Jesuit Marest, "adore a sort of genius, which they call mani-tou; to them it is the master of life, the spirit that rules all things. A bird, a buffalo, a bear, a feather, a skin - that is their manitou." " If the Indian word manitou," says Palfrey, "appeared to denote something above or beside the common aspects and agencies of nature, it might be natural, but it would be rash and misleading, to confound its import with the Christian, Mohammedan, Jewish, Egyptian, or Greek conception of Deity, or with any compound of a selection from some or all of those ideas".

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Manitou, a county of Michigan, comprising the Beaver, Fox, and Manitou islands in Lake Michigan, off the N. W. coast of the lower peninsula; area, about 100 sq. m.; pop. in 1870, 891. The largest island is Big Beaver; the other principal islands are Great Manitou, Little Manitou, Little Beaver, Garden, Hog, South Fox, and North Fox. The surface is rough and the soil only moderately fertile. Capital, bt. James, on Big Beaver island.