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Bigfoot & Native Americans...

169 posts in this topic

There was an excellent thread started on another forum a couple of years ago. The general conclusion of the postings was that Bigfoot was never a part of Native American mythology/culture. Sasquatch was a term invented in the 1920's somewhere in Canada by a white educator/writer if I remember correctly. That isn't to say that the Native Americans didn't have a mythology of an alternate race of bipedal beings. However a good internet search will reveal that most of that alternate bipedal being's existence was tied to spiritual/non physical manifestation. It seems that the big apelike biped we refer to as Sasquatch/Bigfoot is far more an invention of the white man then the Native Americans. But mythology is like that it tends to meld and blur between cultures.

Where do you get that info that Native stories are recent since after 1920? There are rock paintings going back hundreds of years of tall hairy men. The Cherokee stories of Tsul Kalu go back thousands of years and we have early stories of 3 different types of men walking the Earth, two of which were said to be giants who would not speak to the 3rd group the Cherokee despite repeated attempts to try to communicate with them. Not all of our stories are non-physical manifestations as there are plenty regarding the large prints he left in Earth and other physical things he did. There are many Tsul Kalu stories and not all are on the internet, in fact most of what is on the internet about the Cherokee is BS perpetuated by one particular fake plastic shaman who is not even Native American. The Natives do not believe that Sasquatch is "apelike biped". They are a tribe of men, just different than humans. Natives believe it is an insult to refer to them as animals. They are noble intelligent men with a complex society.

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I'm curious about the bigfoot/native American connection. What do they know? And why won't they share their information? Seems to me if they did share their info, it might lead to a deeper understanding of the creatures & better relations for all involved. I certainly don't wish to offend anyone. But I am curious, confused & a little frustrated.

Can anyone shed some light on the subject for me?

You know I don't recall any stories of the FN people hunting and shooting at them? did they? That must of been a shocker when the white race from Europe started shooting at them. Did the fear of gunpowder weapons help by keeping them at bay? (No more wife and kidnappings or poaching) So they retreated deeper into the mountains and woods and away from all races.

just wondering

tracker, dry.gif

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Bigfoot ....Sasquatch....what ever you want to call the species....is very well known in the Native American community and always has been. Here is an example of ancient pictographs describing a bigfoot Hairy Man Pictograph

Bigfoot is very well documented in traditional songs, dances, masks, costumes, baskets, totem poles, artifacts, etc. The term "sasquatch" is a hybrid of native terms, but there is a great deal of information on traditional names available. Just because white immigrants hybridized a term doesn't mean it has any less significance.

I do not, at all, hold that bigfoot is a product of white men that then blended to native cultures. Read stories for yourself and talk to natives....that is the best way to educate yourself.

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You know I don't recall any stories of the FN people hunting and shooting at them? did they? That must of been a shocker when the white race from Europe started shooting at them. Did the fear of gunpowder weapons help by keeping them at bay? (No more wife and kidnappings or poaching) So they retreated deeper into the mountains and woods and away from all races.

just wondering

tracker, dry.gif

Can't speak for the FN's or all tribes, but I was always told not to look at them directly as it angers them and that they are to be protected and not attacked or trapped.

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I do not, at all, hold that bigfoot is a product of white men that then blended to native cultures.

Me neither. That's just a 'neat' explanation the cynics pulled out of thin air to try and get around the existence of bigfoot.

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You know I don't recall any stories of the FN people hunting and shooting at them? did they? That must of been a shocker when the white race from Europe started shooting at them. Did the fear of gunpowder weapons help by keeping them at bay? (No more wife and kidnappings or poaching) So they retreated deeper into the mountains and woods and away from all races.

just wondering

tracker, dry.gif

There are stories of them shooting at them (arrows/guns) which never ends well. Most stories that destroy a bad bigfoot involve fire.

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Me neither. That's just a 'neat' explanation the cynics pulled out of thin air to try and get around the existence of bigfoot.

It seems like a lame excuse to me. Strange how that happens....

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B) A couple of interesting CBC Radio programmes covering the relationship between Sasquatch and Canadian First Nations peoples have been broadcast over the past year.

Native interpretations of Sasquatch are varied and complex from region to region. Most traditions fear Sasquatch. For example, among the Cree of Northern Ontario, Squatchy is sometimes regarded as the monster ordinary people have become after turning to cannibalism. In this case the folklore is a censure warning people never to eat human flesh. The omen of bad luck also commonly accompanies sightings of BF after which a cleansing ceremony is often required. Elements of the supernatural such as shape shifting are part of the mix. Also present is the notion that Sasquatch are disacculturated people who left their tribes, for whatever reason, to live in the bush on their own. They steal and eat children, capture young maidens, disrupt trap lines and generally harrass the Native folk.

From flesh and blood creatures to feral humans to supernatural shape shifters, Sasquatch fills many different roles in Panamerindian Native culture and world view.

- Dudlow

Are you refering to the wendigo :huh:

That does not realy sound like BF/Sas...

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the forgiving part would be as in dropping the " collective grudge" you mentioned earlier ",Some people hold a collective grudge against a particular group for a long time. It doesn't matter if a person was involved in any actual wrongdoing, but guilt by association pervades."

Not to deliberately continue the OT sidebar here, but I've been told a number of times over the years when the subject has come up in discussions that those continuing to "hold a grudge" feel that today's white man is as guilty as our ancestors were because we have not done anything to rectify the situation. When I've asked what that would entail, I've gotten responses ranging from large additional financial sums as "reparations" to a few whom I would characterize as "hard core" types who told me straight up that white people should pack up and move back to Europe, turning control of the land back to them.

You also get that later reaction a lot out of the nativist Hispanic groups like La Raza and Mecha, who claim Native status through the aboriginal Central Americans.

Going back ON topic: as others have pointed out, one must keep in mind what I call the "duality" principle when dealing with aboriginal people's accounts of BF. That is the concept that there is BF the Spirit, and BF the flesh and blood creature (just as an native can tell you about the Bear totem spirit or the habits of the bear that lives on the nearby mountain). The line between the two is not always sharply drawn.

There have been a number of people who have referenced and cataloged the N American BF traditions. I've always heard "Raincoast Sasquatch" has good information, but I've never had the chance to read it.

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Can't speak for the FN's or all tribes, but I was always told not to look at them directly as it angers them and that they are to be protected and not attacked or trapped.

Yea i understand that without knowing the warnings from native elders. But there must of been some resistance when they came to abduct a woman or child legend or not? So did you think the arrival of guns and the white man changed the mutual understanding or balance between FN & Bf's?

Edited by tracker
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Are you refering to the wendigo :huh: That does not realy sound like BF/Sas...

B) The broadcasts were specifically about Sasquatch and their varied manifestations. The elders who were interviewed used a variety of different terms, including Wendigo, to describe Sasquatch. Remarkable is the fact that they attributed so many different manifestations to what we, as outsiders, would think of as the same flesh and blood creature.

On one hand Sasquatch is said to exist as a consequence of particular human actions and behaviors. On the other hand it exists, in a more modern view, as an entity entirely independent of human activity. The demarcation between substantive reality Sasquatch and the more imaginative dream state Sasquatch does not always clearly exist in the native way of seeing the world, especially in their older pre-Contact traditions which continue to be part of their spirituality up to the present time. So the idea of the Sasquatch passing freely back and forth between many different Native world views carries on.

These radio programmes provided a window view into the Native ontology (way of seeing the world) which, even today, can be so different from that of the modern science based ontology. What I find particular interesting is the way in which the Sasquatch figure moves effortlessly from one manifestations to another throughout the Native myth, legend and folklore traditions. Of particular interest is the overweaning influence of the continuing Shamanic traditions which are closely aligned to diagnostic and healing practices wherein Sasquatch usually plays the role of the villain.

- Dudlow

Edited by Dudlow
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Where do you get that info that Native stories are recent since after 1920? There are rock paintings going back hundreds of years of tall hairy men. The Cherokee stories of Tsul Kalu go back thousands of years and we have early stories of 3 different types of men walking the Earth, two of which were said to be giants who would not speak to the 3rd group the Cherokee despite repeated attempts to try to communicate with them. Not all of our stories are non-physical manifestations as there are plenty regarding the large prints he left in Earth and other physical things he did. There are many Tsul Kalu stories and not all are on the internet, in fact most of what is on the internet about the Cherokee is BS perpetuated by one particular fake plastic shaman who is not even Native American. The Natives do not believe that Sasquatch is "apelike biped". They are a tribe of men, just different than humans. Natives believe it is an insult to refer to them as animals. They are noble intelligent men with a complex society.

Rock paintings are as often as not depicting visual representations of non physical concepts. The fact that something has been recorded visually by the direct hand of a human being does not make the depiction a reality. For instance I could draw a sketch of an animal but that does not make the animal real in a physical sense. Just look at artists sketches of mythological animals like the Griffin or mermaids. You can draw them till the cows come home and the Griffin becomes no more factual.

If you google the history of the word Sasquatch it might lead you to the root of when the name was coined. BTW I didn't claim that there are recent FNP reports of Sasquatch.

That said the FNP referring to them as another race of men should be considered that the other race of men were in some way far more resembled true human beings that the modern concept of Bigfoot. Virtually all reports of Bigfoot portray an animal without culture, tools, clothing or fire. This hardly represents description of a very human being. It has a basic human form but hardly more than that. The Native Africans referred to Gorillas as a type of forest people but Gorillas are not human.

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Yea i understand that without knowing the warnings from native elders. But there must of been some resistance when they came to abduct a woman or child legend or not? So did you think the arrival of guns and the white man changed the mutual understanding or balance between FN & Bf's?

There isn't a history among our people of BF's abducting women and children. I kinda wonder if that is either made up fantasy from the white man's day or else the white men angered the beings so that they did try to abduct their women. There are a couple stories I have heard where Cherokee women went off on their own will to as the story goes marry Tsul Kalu man because he was deemed a much better hunter and provider. I think the white men pursing the Bigfoot has driven them further into seclusion and disliking of the human race as a whole. Perhaps they witnessed many of the attacks on the Native people and because of that became even more leery and have passed down that distrust to their offspring.

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Virtually all reports of Bigfoot portray an animal without culture, tools, clothing or fire. This hardly represents description of a very human being. It has a basic human form but hardly more than that. The Native Africans referred to Gorillas as a type of forest people but Gorillas are not human.

Have you considered there may be more than one thing being called "Bigfoot" in modern day? I've always thought the Skunk Ape sightings honestly have nothing to do with Bigfoot and are a separate entity. Especially since Skunk Ape seems to be from Florida where there is a history of Monkey Island and many hundreds of private collections of apes and monkeys being released into the wild either by capturers wanting rid of them or through the many devastating hurricanes and tornadoes the state has suffered over a very long time period. Not to mention its a rather temperate climate with steady food supply. The pictures of Skunk Ape remind me of a gibbon. There have also been Skunk Ape reports all over the Southeastern states like they are reproducing and migrating out into the country. So I think many sightings are this creature and not a true Bigfoot/Sasquatch.

As for if they behave man-like I have heard modern day and old stories of them using tools, from digging implements to spears. I don't suppose they feel the need for clothes since they are covered in long hair. Looks like it would be rather hot to be a Bigfoot in summer. The Cherokee did not wear clothing much of the time and if they did it was very little till after the white man came. Part of it was they thought the white men's clothes looked "spiffy" especially those French dressers so they decided to mimic them much like most of us do with modern clothing trends. One of the chief complaints of the white men concerning the Cherokee were the people running around naked in woods, especially the women who did not cover their breasts. There are humans in Africa and South America that still live within their tribal tradition and run around naked, so yea I do think you can be some sort of man and not wear clothing. Oh and I have heard stories mostly in past of them using fire. I would suspect they might have learned to do without it in modern times in order to avoid detection as smoke is such a big giveaway.

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When I started this thread I was hoping our native American friends might share some of their 'inside' information with the rest of us. I still hope that might happen!

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