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Bigfoot & Native Americans...

169 posts in this topic

Being a Cherokee from the Oklahoma Band, I feel that many misconceptions are thrown out about the Cherokees there and the legends about Bigfoot. Tsalagi is from the Eastern Band of Cherokees, where the hundreds of years of legends and stories are steeped. The Oklahoma Band has only 150 years or so of history in Oklahoma, like many of the other tribes forcibly removed from their homes to Oklahoma. There the legends and stories associated with Bigfoot are not as steeped in tradition or in the hundreds of years. Most of the Cherokees of the Western (Oklahoma) Band, view the Bigfoot with a certain amount of fear. When I interview many of the witnesses, they are terrified of the Bigfoot, because as a society, the Western Band has become more modernized and left many of the cultural aspects of the Cherokees behind. Even with the current emphasis of the tribe to get more Cherokee Children to learn the language is failing, the culture has moved to a second seat with the younger generations. Even those Elders who still practice traditional tribal ceremonies and such, have begun dying off, with no one replacing their knowledge. It's more different in Oklahoma with the Native Americans and Bigfoot than many people really know.

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The Cherokee stories of Tsul Kalu go back thousands of years.

How is Tsul Kalu pronounced? Also aren't Kecleh-Kudleh and Nun' Yuni' Wi other Cherokee names for Hairy Men? If that is correct, how are those pronounced as well?

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Most of the Cherokees of the Western (Oklahoma) Band, view the Bigfoot with a certain amount of fear. When I interview many of the witnesses, they are terrified of the Bigfoot, because as a society, the Western Band has become more modernized and left many of the cultural aspects of the Cherokees behind.

It probably doesn't help that the OK variety have a rep for being a bit ill tempered.

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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!

Perhaps there is no inside information to share.

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Regarding sasquatch and native people, the general consensus is that they view such a creature as another inhabitant in an area that is usually left alone.

I used to correspond with a member of the Hupa Nation, and asked this person about sasquatch, as the PNW abounds with stories. The member told me about a time when driving back home on a road with switchbacks at night. When the car rounded a sharp bend, the individual sighted a bigfoot standing on the hillside above the road. When the beams of the headlights struck the creature, it jumped across the road, and ran down the mountain. The witness referred to bigfoot as "The Old Man of the Woods," and said that the Hupa people encounter him on occasion, but do not interact with him, instead leaving him to go about his business.

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Bigfoot Encounters has a great collection of NA stories under the link "Legends" on the left-hand panel. Click on the link and navigate to Legends.

http://www.bigfootencounters.com/

Edited by vilnoori
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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.

I guess you mean "your people" as your tribe? We've all seen the interviews and I've talked with other FN's who recall the legends of abductions etc happening. Maybe in some cases that was just a way to keep the kids from straying too far from camp at night? smile.gif

It must vary from region to region and tribe to tribe regarding their own histories with the wild men of the forest.

Edited by tracker
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How is Tsul Kalu pronounced? Also aren't Kecleh-Kudleh and Nun' Yuni' Wi other Cherokee names for Hairy Men? If that is correct, how are those pronounced as well?

Tsul Kalu has different pronunciations according to which dialect and also fact Cherokee will sit and argue with one another of the correct pronunciation anyway. The way I know is "su-hl-kaw-lu" or "su-kaw-lu". Sorry I don't know a good way of writing how it sounds much of the language has constanants that are sorta slurred together and spoken nasally. And I have forgotten a lot of the language I used to know. Tsul Kalu is said to mean "slant-eyed giant" but more correctly it translates into "He has them slanting" which is assumed to mean his eyes. Kata or agadoli means eyes and isn't included. There is another name for him that means "Sloped headed monster" but I don't remember now the words in Cherokee. I've never heard Kecleh-Kudleh before. NunYunaWi is Stone Man and is not Bigfoot, he is considered a spiritual being and related to the beings who control the directions and physical forces of the Earth similar to the celestial beings mentioned in Genesis. I think the Cherokee story about Standing Indian, NC sounds like a Bigfoot.

Did you know Tsul Kalu is also the name the Cherokee use for Goliath? I was told one reason so many Cherokee easily converted to early Christianity is because they thought the story of David and Goliath must be about a young boy being attacked by a Bigfoot. They could relate to this story as it was something that was a part of their reality and something they were fearful of. So when the Bible was translated this is why Tsul Kalu is used. ^_^

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Just remembering watching a tv show on Bigfoot one Sunday afternoon with my Cherokee grandmother and she spoke up to say "I wish they would just leave him alone".

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Being a Cherokee from the Oklahoma Band, I feel that many misconceptions are thrown out about the Cherokees there and the legends about Bigfoot. Tsalagi is from the Eastern Band of Cherokees, where the hundreds of years of legends and stories are steeped. The Oklahoma Band has only 150 years or so of history in Oklahoma, like many of the other tribes forcibly removed from their homes to Oklahoma. There the legends and stories associated with Bigfoot are not as steeped in tradition or in the hundreds of years. Most of the Cherokees of the Western (Oklahoma) Band, view the Bigfoot with a certain amount of fear. When I interview many of the witnesses, they are terrified of the Bigfoot, because as a society, the Western Band has become more modernized and left many of the cultural aspects of the Cherokees behind. Even with the current emphasis of the tribe to get more Cherokee Children to learn the language is failing, the culture has moved to a second seat with the younger generations. Even those Elders who still practice traditional tribal ceremonies and such, have begun dying off, with no one replacing their knowledge. It's more different in Oklahoma with the Native Americans and Bigfoot than many people really know.

Bigfoot could have been a quite a mennace to the Indians prior to guns. BFs knew arrows were no threat for long distances. They could kidnap Indians at will and then what...........eat them! People are easier to catch than deer. Just sneak in at night and drag them off. The Indians had a reason for fearing BF. Why? When tribes began to acquire guns, the BFs learned to stay away which applies for today. Maybe BF is not the gentle forest animal that we define. BF could be a dangerous animal that stays away since it never knows when human are packing guns. Do solo hikers disappear since they were simply a meal?

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Tsul Kalu has different pronunciations according to which dialect and also fact Cherokee will sit and argue with one another of the correct pronunciation anyway. The way I know is "su-hl-kaw-lu" or "su-kaw-lu". Sorry I don't know a good way of writing how it sounds much of the language has constanants that are sorta slurred together and spoken nasally. And I have forgotten a lot of the language I used to know. Tsul Kalu is said to mean "slant-eyed giant" but more correctly it translates into "He has them slanting" which is assumed to mean his eyes. Kata or agadoli means eyes and isn't included. There is another name for him that means "Sloped headed monster" but I don't remember now the words in Cherokee. I've never heard Kecleh-Kudleh before. NunYunaWi is Stone Man and is not Bigfoot, he is considered a spiritual being and related to the beings who control the directions and physical forces of the Earth similar to the celestial beings mentioned in Genesis. I think the Cherokee story about Standing Indian, NC sounds like a Bigfoot.

Did you know Tsul Kalu is also the name the Cherokee use for Goliath? I was told one reason so many Cherokee easily converted to early Christianity is because they thought the story of David and Goliath must be about a young boy being attacked by a Bigfoot. They could relate to this story as it was something that was a part of their reality and something they were fearful of. So when the Bible was translated this is why Tsul Kalu is used. ^_^

I have heard of the Slant Eyed Giant, also known as Judaculla. He is associated with the area around Devi'ls Courthouse in NC and a rock with carvings on it. I have asked several Cherokees about his connection with bigfoot, and they do not view the two beings as similar. Even after talking about the subject with one of their elders, the man could no trace any legends to that of bigfoot. Here is the best that he could relate about hairy people: http://www.indians.o...er/cherbear.htm

As far as the tale of Standing indian, my friend was taught to refer to him as Standing Man by his elders. The story that was passed to him was a different version. I believe it involved giant yellowjackets as the sky monster. I will ask him about the story and see if it has any connection to bigfoot.

Darkwing, true. Western Band Cherokees have evolved separately from their eastern kin who held out in the NC mountains and other areas. The eastern people are where I get most of my information from. OK has a history of bigfoot activity, so it would make sense that your people have a more direct connection with bigfoot stories than my eastern friends do.

Edited by wudewasa
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As far as the tale of Standing indian, my friend was taught to refer to him as Standing Man by his elders. The story that was passed to him was a different version. I believe it involved giant yellowjackets as the sky monster. I will ask him about the story and see if it has any connection to bigfoot.

This is a different story than the yellowjackets. There is a place near the Nantahala river referred to as Standing Indian which is a rock bald. There is an old story that speaks of a "tall stranger" that stood up on the rock looking out. The elders I've talked to used the term stranger to refer to people of a different race when speaking of early encounters with non-Indians. I don't think they would bother calling someone tall unless they seemed really tall especially when viewed from that distance up on the rock. Hence I think it was a Sasquatch.

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It must vary from region to region and tribe to tribe regarding their own histories with the wild men of the forest.

Based on my admittedly not-comprehensive reading on the subject, it seems to me that woman/child abduction features most strongly in the American PNW, western Coastal Canada, and Alaska.

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Ithink it might have been in Raincoast Sasquatch that I read that the Chehalis band told J Burns that they viewed the sasquatch as another tribe of hairy men who did not use bows but were very hard to kill. Burns is the teacher on the reservation who in the 1920s changed the indian word sasq'ets into sasquatch.

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