Tribal Traditions

The Five Civilized Tribes

The Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, and Seminole Indians in Oklahoma (former Indian Territory).


Tsul' Kalu

(Slant-eyed Giants)

(Picture by R. White,


Cherokee spiritual beliefs are held in common among the Cherokee people – Native American peoples who are indigenous to Oklahoma (the Cherokee Nation and United Keetowah Band of Cherokee Indians). Some of the beliefs, and the stories and songs in which they have been preserved, exist in slightly different forms in the different communities in which they have been preserved. But for the most part, they still form a unified system of theology.

Kecleh Kudleh (Hairy Savage) (Blood thirsty Ones)

Yunwi Tsunsdi' (The Little People)

Spiritual beings can come in the form of animal or human and are considered a part of daily life. A group of spiritual beings are spoken about as Little People and they can only be seen by humans when they want to be seen. It is said that they choose who they present themselves to and appear as any other Cherokee would, except that they are small with very long hair. The Little People can be helpful but one should be cautious while interacting with them because they can be very deceptive. It is not common to talk about an experience one has with the Little People. Instead, one might relay an incident that happened to someone else. It is said that if you bother the Little People too often you will become confused in your day-to-day life. Although they possess healing powers and helpful hints, the Little People are not to be disturbed.

Kalona Ayeliski

Kalona Ayeliski (Raven Mockers) are spirits who prey on the souls of the dying and torment their victims until they die, after which they eat the hearts of their victims. Kalona Ayeliski are invisible, except to a medicine man, and the only way to protect a potential victim is to have a medicine man who knows how to drive Kalona Ayeliski off, since they are scared of him.



(Picture by R. White,


The shampe is a malevolent, ogre-like monster of Choctaw folklore. In some legends he attempts to abduct Choctaw women; in others, he is a man-eater. He is sometimes described as a giant and other times as a large hairy man, leading some people to associate him with the Bigfoot legend. His most salient feature is his smell-- a shampe's smell is so overpowering that a person cannot bear to be around him, making him difficult to fight.

Okla Chito

The State of Oklahoma is named from the two Choctaw words "Okla" and "Homma" meaning "Red People". Being that Honobia is arguably in the center of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma it is only fitting to describe the Bigfoot as what they really are, "Big People". "Okla Chito" is a phrase of two Choctaw words used together to describe the Bigfoot/Sasquatch. "Okla Chito"= Big People.

Now not everyone feels or believes the same way. But if you ask most elders of any Indian Nation in North America you may hear the words, "people," tribe," or "old ones.” Just about 96% of most Native Tribes here in North America (and with respect to others world wide) believe in their culture that Bigfoot/Sasquatch is a type of tribe of people long forgotten and has a significant reason why they are here on earth. Together with science and traditions of some tribal nations (if not just about all tribal nations) from around the world indicated through their names given that they are just another tribe of people.

Nana lusa chito (Big black thing)

Hatak hishi lawa (Hairy Man)

Hatak holba (man like or looks like a man)

The direct translation from the English description of Bigfoot into the Choctaw language:

Big Foot (Iyyi Chito)



(Picture by R. White,



The Lofa is a malevolent, ogre-like monster of Chickasaw folklore. His name literally means "flayer" or "skinner," a reference to his gruesome habit of flaying the skin from his victims. In some legends he attempts to abduct Chickasaw women. He is sometimes described as a giant and other times as a large, hairy, smelly man, leading some people to associate him with the Bigfoot legend.


Este Cvpcvke

Artist: Johnnie Diacon of the Muscogee Creek Nation (Mvskoke)


The(Creek) Bigfoot which they call Tall Man is called (Estecvpcvke) or sounds like(Is-tea-jop-cuh). He is around 10 feet or a little more in height and is covered in gray hair and has a bad odor which resembles a stagnant muddy pond. His color helps him blend in with the trees. He also has a whip-like tail that he cracks which sounds like thunder and if hearing this while in the woods this will often cause a person to get lost. There are older stories that it was his male appendage and not a tail, but this change possibly came about due to Christian missionary’s influences during the last part of the 19th Century and early 20th Century. He carries a club that he has made from a tree limb that he has broken off. The tree would soon die. Soon afterwards, the women would use the holes left in the tree to bury stillborn babies.

Este Cvpcvke

Artist: Johnnie Diacon of the Muscogee Creek Nation (Mvskoke)


Artist: Johnnie Diacon of the Muscogee Creek Nation (Mvskoke)


Kolowa is a kind of hairy, man-eating ogre from Creek mythology. Some recent Creek storytellers have translated it as "gorilla."

Honka (Hairy Man)

Este Cupko



Esti Capcaki (Tall Man)

(Picture by R. White,


Long Ears

(Picture by R. White,

Long Ears

Long Ears is a hairy, wolf-like monster of Seminole mythology. It is usually described as being four-footed, the size of a donkey, with a wolf's head and long pointed ears

Little Giver

Little Giver is a corn spirit from Miccosukee and Seminole mythology. Usually appearing as a dwarf, Little Giver appeared to the people to present them with the gift of corn, for which he was subsequently always honored.


The Stikini are sinister monsters from Seminole folklore. Originally they were evil witches, who transformed themselves into owl-beings. By day they still resemble Seminole people, but by night, they vomit up their souls (along with all their internal organs) and become undead owl-monsters that feed on human hearts. In some Seminole communities speaking their name is thought to put you at risk for turning into one, so Stikini stories are only told by certain medicine people. In other communities, they have been spoken of more casually as bogeymen to frighten children.

Iwashikatchi Nahti

("The One who makes you forget")

Hoopa: Buckwas (Wildman)

(Picture by R. White,

More Tribal Names:

Lakota Sioux: Chiye Tanka (Big Brother)

Shoshone: Tso Apittse (Giant Cannibal)

Chinook: Skookum (Evil Forest God)

Comanche: Mooptis (?)

Cheyenne: Maxe Mista (Terrible Monster)

Lakota Sioux

Chiye Tanka

(Big Brother)


Tso Apittse

Giant Cannibal



Evil Forest Giant


Maxe Mista

Terrible Monster