Legends of Bigfoot
We hope you enjoy learning about these legends as much as we have while putting this together for you.
Images of ancient Bigfoot type creatures
Of all legendary Native American beings, none has captured the imagination of non-Native people as much as Sasquatch and other "bigfoot" creatures. This page is here to look at some of the different legends in various Native American tribes as well as the legends from more modern times. You will find links to different Native American legends as well as the more modern stories. We hope you enjoy this part of our site and we also hope you learn as much as we have.
Stories of a giant, hairy creature that appears half man and half ape have existed in various parts of the world for many centuries. In fact, the only continent not to have stories of “wild men” is Antarctica. In the Himalayas, it’s the Yeti. In Canada, it’s the Sasquatch. And in the northwest United States, it’s Bigfoot. Stories of a “wild man” existed among the Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest long before white colonists moved in. Versions of Bigfoot ranged from harmless giants who stole fish from fishermen’s nets, to cannibalistic monsters living on mountain peaks. These stories varied from tribe to tribe, and even from family to family, which meant that Bigfoot had a lot of different names.
The Bigfoot figure is common to the folklore of most Northwest Native American tribes. Native American Bigfoot legends usually describe the creatures as around 6-9 feet tall, very strong, hairy, uncivilized, and often foul-smelling, usually living in the woods and often foraging at night. Native American Bigfoot creatures are almost always said to be unable to speak human languages, using whistles, grunts, and gestures to communicate with each other. In some stories, male Bigfeet are said to be able to mate with human women. In some Native stories, Bigfoot may have minor supernatural powers-- the ability to turn invisible, for example-- but they are always considered physical creatures of the forest, not spirits or ghosts.
That is where the intertribal Bigfoot similarities end, however. In the Bigfoot myths of some tribes, Sasquatch and his relatives are generally shy and benign figures-- they may take things that do not belong to them or even kidnap a human wife, but do not harm people and may even come to their aid. Sometimes Bigfoot is considered a guardian of nature in these tribes. These more benevolent Bigfeet usually appear alone or in a small family unit, and may exchange gifts or use sign language to communicate with Native American communities.
But Bigfoot legends from other tribes describe them as malevolent creatures who attack humans, play dangerous tricks on them, or steal children; they may even eat people. These more dangerous Bigfoot monsters, known as Stick Indians or Bush Indians, are sometimes found in large groups or even villages, which engage in warfare with neighboring Indian tribes. Clearly there are many different legends that run a wide range of discriptions in the Native American communities.
This is a list of the various names in many cultures that Bigfoot is known by. Feel free to click on the linked ones and see what you can learn. As we find more information we will link it so you can keep learning.
Ba'wis (Tsimshian Indian Bigfoot)
Boqs (Bella Coola Bigfoot)
Bush Indians (Alaskan Athabaskan Bigfoot)
Chiye-Tanka (Sioux Indian Bigfoot)
Choanito/Night People (Wenatchi Indian Bigfoot)
Hairy Man (Yokuts Indian Bigfoot)
Kohuneje (Maidu Indian Bigfoot)
Lariyin (Dogrib Indian Bigfoot)
Lofa (Chickasaw Indian Bigfoot)
Matah Kagmi (Modoc Indian Bigfoot)
Maxemista (Cheyenne Indian Bigfoot)
Na'in (Gwich'in Indian Bigfoot)
Nakani (Dene Indian Bigfoot)
Nant'ina (Tanaina Indian Bigfoot)
Nik'inla'eena' (Koyukon Indian Bigfoot)
Omah (Hupa Indian Bigfoot)
Seeahtlk (Clallam Indian Bigfoot)
Shampe (Choctaw Indian Bigfoot)
Siatco (Chehalis Indian Bigfoot)
Skookum (Chinook Indian Bigfoot)
Ste-ye-hah'mah (Yakama Indian Bigfoot)
Stick Indians (Northwest Coast Bigfeet)
The Woodsman (Athabaskan Indian Bigfoot)
Tsul 'Kalu (Cherokee)
Drawing of a possible Bigfoot
From the BFRO
Image of what Bigfoot could look like.