To Algonquian speakers, the generic peshu can conjure up cat, lion, panther, or lynx, depending on circumstance or a well-chosen adjective. Following a native worldview, where interrelatedness is more important than divisions between living creatures, they are simply “cat”. Even artistic conventions are reinforced by folklore in the case of Mishi-Peshu. Over half of the Ojibwa and Chippewa tales describing the underwater lion mention its spine-covered tail. The three dream portrait pictographs of Mishi-Peshu marking Agawa Rock strongly emphasize this feature of the lord of the depths.” (Conway 1993:66)
Such was the awsome power of Michi-Peshu, that he was chosen to represent the underworld on native woven bags of the Northeastern woodlands and Great Lakes Region. Such bags were almost invariably decorated with the Michi-Peshu on one side, and Thunderbirds on the other side representing the above world. This theme expresses the dichotomy of existence with the contents of the bag, and thus by extension the person carrying it, representing this world between the above and the below.