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Tags bigfoot , native american myths

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Old 29th January 2008, 06:32 AM   #1
kitakaze
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Native American myths/traditions support Bigfoot? A critical look.

A common theme that has often come up here and in general with proponents is the statement as fact that Native American traditions and myths support the existence of bigfoot. This has been discussed many times to varying degrees of depth in other threads but I think it would be best to have a devoted thread on the subject as it is a persistent notion.

It is my assertion that Native American traditions do not support the existence of bigfoot and that what is put forth by bigfoot enthusiasts as evidence for the existence of bigfoot has been cherry-picked and misrepresented. IMO this at best amounts to a collection of boogeyman tales not significantly different than that of countless other cultures.

A good example of this is the lengthy discussion in the 'Simple Challenge for Bigfoot Supporters' thread regarding kushtaka (k'cta-qa), a mythical being in the traditions of the Tlingit people of northwestern North America. We were told that kushtaka was a well-known and supported term for bigfoot and after much discussion and examination by skeptics the claim was dropped after the 'Land Otter Man' nature of the myth was established.

More recently we were told of the bukwus of the Kwakiutl people of Northern Vancouver Island:

Quote:
One tribe dresses as animals and all the animals are known creatures except the sasquatch or buk'wus as they call them. They just consider it another primate and think nothing strange about its existence.
This poster was apparently unaware of the legendary Thunderbird and its place in Kwakiutl mythology. As for the supposed sasquatch/bukwus, again, critical examination reveals...

From the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture:
Quote:
Like the Dzoonokwa, Bukwus is a wild creature of the woods. Described as a "chief of the ghosts", he tempts travellers to eat his food, which transforms them into wild spirits like himself. The Bukwus dance is performed during the Tlasula.
https://www.washington.edu/burkemuse...y.php?ID=93120

From northwestcoastnativeartists.com:


Quote:
Bukwus, the wild man of the woods, is a supernatural ghost like figure. He is associated with the spirits of people who have drowned. He lives in an invisible house in the forest and attracts the spirits of those who have drowned to his home.

Bukwus also tries to persuade humans to eat ghost food so that they will become like him. The Bukwus was a significant character for the Kwakiutl people.
http://www.northwestcoastnativeartis...bolsDetail=008

One of the main proponents of correlations between Native traditions/mythology and bigfoot existence is a lady we've enjoyed much discussion with on the subject in the past here, US Forest Service Archaeologist Kathy Moskowitz Strain. Kathy is a bright women with a fine sense of humour who has over the years invested much study on the matter. She has a book on the subject forthcoming that is due to be released sometime this year IIRC. Kathy is a well-known bigfoot proponent/researcher who has appeared on the History Channel series Monster Quest a number of times. She posts here under the handle 'Hairyman'.

Here is a youtube clip of her speaking on Native myths/traditions and bigfoot on the 'Gigantopithecus: The Real King Kong' episode of Monster Quest:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=vUThgEGxjEM

I find myself in disagreement with some key ideas of Kathy's on the subject and think some can be illustrated by her comments in the above Monster Quest clip. For example, the statement "...as a scientist and archaeologist it doesn't make sense to me that tribes would give names to imaginary creatures." I find it difficult following Strain's reasoning here. It seems to presuppose the idea that Native American cultures did not have mythical creatures when, as is clear with the example of the ubiquitous Thunderbird, we know this to not be the case.

She also states in the clip "that Native Americans have literally a hundred names for these creatures and I'm still discovering them." Interestingly she then lists a few and includes the word 'sasquatch' which we have often been told to be a native word. Once again, upon further examination the word turns out to be a neologism coined in the 20's by a British Colombian school teacher, J.W. Burns:

Quote:
Formal use of "Sasquatch" can be traced to the 1920s, when the term was coined by J.W. Burns, a school teacher at the Chehalis, British Columbia Indian Reserve, on the Harrison River about 100 kilometres east of Vancouver. Burns collected Native American accounts of large, hairy creatures said to live in the wild. Loren Coleman and Jerome Clark wrote that Burns's "Native American informants called these beasts by various names, including 'sokqueatl' and 'soss-q'tal'" (Coleman and Clark, p. 215). Burns noted the phonetically similar names for the creatures and decided to invent one term for them all.

Over time, Burns's neologism "Sasquatch" came to be used by others, primarily in the Pacific Northwest. In 1929, Maclean's published one of Burns's articles, "Introducing British Columbia's Hairy Giants," which called the large creatures by this term.
Here is a partial list of tradtional Native names from the eastern United States provided by Strain that are supposed to represent bigfoot:

Originally Posted by Hairy Man View Post
I'm assuming when you say east of the Mississippi that you are including the headwaters as well, so here is a list for your use. The list is not all there is, just what picked out quickly from a list of several hundred:

Tribe - Traditional Name - Translation

Alabama-Coushatta - Eeyachuba - Wild man
Algonkian - Yeahoh- Wild man
Caddo - Ha'yacatsi - Lost giants
Cherokee - Kecleh-Kudleh - Hairy savage
Cherokee - Nun’ Yunu’ Wi - Stone man
Chickasaw - Lofa - Smelly, hairy being that could speak
Chippewa - Djeneta` - Giant
Choctaw - Kashehotapalo - Cannibal man
Choctaw - Nalusa Falaya - Big giant
Choctaw - Shampe - Giant monster
Comanche - Mu pitz - Cannibal monster
Comanche - Piamupits - Cannibal monster
Creeks - Honka - Hairy man
Iroquois - Ot ne yar heh - Stonish giant
Iroquois - Tarhuhyiawahku - Giant monster
Iroquois/Seneca - Ge no sqwa - Stone giants
Menomini - Manabai'wok - The Giants
Micmac - Chenoo - Devil cannibal
Mosopelea - Yeahoh - Monster
Ojibwa - Manito - Wild man
Seminole - Esti capcaki -Tall man
Seminole - Ssti capcaki - Tall hairy man
Seneca - Ge no'sgwa - Stone giants
One thing I would like to accomplish in this thread is to examine some of these myths and traditions critically and see how well they correlate to what we are commonly told of bigfoot. One should keep in mind though that there is nowhere near a consensus on what bigfoot is.

My question to bigfoot enthusiasts is what Native American myth or tradition do you think most clearly and obviously represents bigfoot? For my part I will attempt to identify and examine some of the more touted examples.
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Old 29th January 2008, 06:59 AM   #2
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Another list of Native American names alledged to correlate to bigfoot compiled by Kyle Mizokami, Henry Franzoni, Jeff Glickman:

http://unifiedworlds.com/NAbigfootnames.htm

Some examples of some of the more ambiguous entries:

Quote:

Name>Tribe>Translation

Skanicum Colville Indians "Stick Indians"

Steta'l Puyallup/Nisqually Indian "Spirt Spear"

Qui yihahs Yakama/Klickitat Indian "The Five Brothers"

Kushtaka Tlingit Indian "Otter Man"

Tah tah kle' ah Yakama/Shasta Indian "Owl Woman Monster"

Gilyuk Nelchina Plateau Indian "Big Man with little hat"

Ge no'sgwa Seneca Indian "Stone Coats"

Atahsaia Zuni Indian "The Cannibal Demon"

Misinghalikun Lenni Lenape Indian "Living Solid Face"

Wsinkhoalican Lenni Lenape Indian "The Game Keeper"

Hecaitomixw Quinault Indians "Dangerous Being"

Y'iitsoh Navajo Indians "Big God "
It's nice that they have a great big list put together but one wonders how they established a link to bigfoot or if it just 'felt right'.
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2 prints, 1 trackway, same 'dermals'? 'Unfortunately no' says Meldrum.

I want to see bigfoot throw a pig... Is that wrong? -LTC8K6
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Old 29th January 2008, 07:44 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by kitakaze View Post
I find myself in disagreement with some key ideas of Kathy's on the subject and think some can be illustrated by her comments in the above Monster Quest clip. For example, the statement "...as a scientist and archaeologist it doesn't make sense to me that tribes would give names to imaginary creatures." I find it difficult following Strain's reasoning here. It seems to presuppose the idea that Native American cultures did not have mythical creatures when, as is clear with the example of the ubiquitous Thunderbird, we know this to not be the case.
This is a rather bizzare thing to be saying, especially for someone who is supposed to have studied this. I can't think of a single culture that doesn't have numerous imaginary creatures, usually not just with names but also with detailed descriptions of their behaviour. Does Kathy also believe in fairies, goblins, leprechauns, unicorns, dragons, sheep, pixies, gryphons, dryads, nymphs, and so on? How can anyone possibly claim to be a scientist in the same sentence they come out with such nonsense?
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Old 29th January 2008, 08:22 AM   #4
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I am some curious about that myself - but then names like Wood and Jones, the Piltdown guys, the cold fusion guys, the people who kept denying HeLa contamination (because it would have meant their experiments were not what they had published), etc. remind me: Scientists can have extra orifices in their cephalic areas too.
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Old 29th January 2008, 08:32 AM   #5
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One of the first prime examples that I was thinking of looking at is one that I have seen put forward by bigfoot enthusiasts countless time is Dsonoqua, The Wild Woman of the Woods. A classic boogeyman type figure, she is a mythical being of the Kwakiutl people of the northern tip of Vancouver Island and the adjacent BC coast who is said to be a stealer of children.

One thing that is a bit frustrating is the wide variation of spellings of Dsonoqua when rendered in the Roman alphabet. Here is a link the Kwakiutl Tales Index collected and translated by Franz Boas circa 1910:

http://www.sacred-texts.com/nam/nw/kt/index.htm

With the following entry entitled The Dz'noqwa:

http://www.sacred-texts.com/nam/nw/kt/kt12.htm

The tale is somewhat reminiscent of The Brothers Grimm's 'Hansel and Gretel'.

The following is from reknowned Canadian artist Emily Carr's book 'Klee Wyck' (1941) entitled 'D'Sonoqua':

http://plato.acadiau.ca/courses/engl...d_sonoqua.html

Some images:

http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/n...m_dzunukwa.jpg

http://www.beckjord.com/bigfoot/dson.jpg

http://www.seattleoutdoorart.com/images/TsonoquaD.jpg

http://cache.tias.com/stores/iis/pictures/aa265a.jpg

I think what you have here is the classic case of footers highjacking a native myth and trying to wrench it into bigfoot evidence. It seems clear from all that I've seen so far that dsonoqua was held by the Kwakiutl to be a boogeyman type figure and not the representation of a species of 8ft giant bipedal primate that they shared their land with. I will look further into this.
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Until better evidence is provided, the best solution to the PGF is that it is a man in a suit. -Astrophotographer.

2 prints, 1 trackway, same 'dermals'? 'Unfortunately no' says Meldrum.

I want to see bigfoot throw a pig... Is that wrong? -LTC8K6
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Old 29th January 2008, 09:20 AM   #6
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I asked a hopi elder about bigfoot one time not expecting to get a responce but he surprized me with more then I ever expected .
He only told me things becouse he liked me and he asked me to never tell any one else .
Well I did and I feel bad about it but what he knew needed to be told Ive never used his name and I never will .
He told me when he was a young man he was over 100 when he told me this he would go into the wilderness by himself for months at a time just wandering .
He did not say what wilderness he was wandering in I assume though most likley the four cornors area he said he was in the mountains .
I wont get into everything he told me its just to much and most of it I will keep to my self untell I know for sure what he said is true .
He told me he was rock climeing one day and he fell and broke his leg he knew he was going to die there becouse no one knew where he was .
He had given up hope when a creature came to him he called it a sasquatch picked him up and took him to its camp where there where others .
I think he said about 6 of them its been a long time my memory is not that great .
With out geting into a lot of detail he explaned to me how they commuicated and that he had no problem understanding them .
He also told me about there crafts and how they made usefull things and how they treated him .
Thats about all I will tell you about this at this time some of the things he said to me I will keep to myself untell I have more proof .
I have no reason to beleave he was lieing to me becouse some of the things he said where so different from what you hear about bigfoot from any other sourse .
He is one of the reasons I got into this so deep I just have to find out for myself .
I want to talk to them face to face .
Ive had the face to face encounter but he did not respond to me I want to know why he dident .
There are many other questions I want to ask also and the only way to find out is to get close to them .
Only a person that has never seen one would have negative thoughts about them .
I hope you people see one some day and I hope you feel as blessed as I did when you do let me know I want to hear about it .
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Old 29th January 2008, 09:31 AM   #7
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Now Thats a bigfoot boat ! http://www.sacred-texts.com/nam/nw/kt/index.htm
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Old 29th January 2008, 09:52 AM   #8
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No chance of him being in shock from exposure and trauma? Possibly Hallucinating that the people who rescued him were Sasquatchi? Fascinating stuff Creek. Here's the catch though, the term Sasquatch wasn't invented until 1920, I'm guessing that either he embellished his story and used a name he heard after the fact, or It happened after 1920 when the term was invented. Did he give you a date?
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Old 29th January 2008, 10:14 AM   #9
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Lots of good stuff here, Kit! Thanks for compiling into a single thread.. and keep up the good work.

FWIW I have a friend who grew up on the Ute Indian reservation in NW Utah. I asked her about bigfoot legends a while back and she looked at me like I was crazy. She said they had lots of legends of anthropomorphised bears and even had an annual festival/dance/ritual around one of them, but nothing even close to bigfoot.
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Old 29th January 2008, 10:37 AM   #10
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All I know is he was over 100 years old when I talked to him I dont know why he dident use the hopi name for them being an elder he should have used the hopi name for them .
Or he was just useing a name I would reconize I dont know .
He did tell me things that Ive never seen before about bigfoot and Ive done a lot of reading on the subject no one has ever talked about what he said to me .
And of course compareing to what I allready know first hand I have no reason not to beleave most of what he said .
That is untell I find out for sure .
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Old 29th January 2008, 10:50 AM   #11
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While digging around for bigfoot sources putting forth dsonoqua (I'll stick with that spelling for now)/bigfoot connections I came across a rather lengthy Seattle Magazine August 1970 article by David Brewster entitled 'Our Last Monster' archived at Bigfoot Encounters. Here is a still rather lengthy portion (my apologies)of the article that deals with native myths and bigfoot while speaking on dsonoqua specifically:

Quote:
...Sasquatch believers claim that the old Indian tales prove that the giants have been well-known for centuries, but a U. W. anthropologist, Melville Jacobs, inclines to the view that "the Sasquatch is entirely a white man's myth, deriving from the European's greater anxiety about father figures."

Similarly, George Quimby, curator of the Burke Museum, suspects the Sasquatch could be traced to loggers' tales and pranks. Nevertheless, the Indian stories have certainly kept things alive. Don Smith, an Indian from Ariel, Washington, who is a close student of the tales as well as a carver and singer, says the oldest story pattern concerns a cannibal woman who likes to roast children.

She is called Tsunoqua (Dzu-na-kwa) by the Kwakiutl people of northern Vancouver Island, who, together with the more northern Tlingits, seem to have developed the most elaborate stories. The majority of these are variations on a single theme: the giant kidnaps some children (on occasion by disguising herself as their grandmother), seals up their eyes with red chewing gum, tosses them in a basket which she carries on her back (where Sasquatch have a big hump of fat for winter hibernation), and heads for her cabin in the woods.

The Tsunoqua people, according to the late George Boas, the distinguished Columbia University anthropologist, are black, twice the size of man, possessed of very deep-set eyes and loud voices, and are inland dwellers. All these traits correspond to those of the Sasquatch (a Chehalis word meaning "hairy giants"). Their characteristic noise is "u, u, u, u," — hence they are usually carved with puckered lips. At night, they imitate bird noises by means of a chain of whistles worn round their necks.

In the stories of other tribes, the giants are often merely renegades who have gone wild-"Stick Indians." But the Tsunoqua is more supernatural, a kind of earth-god matched against the heroic sky gods, like the Thunderbird, who sometimes turns Tsunoqua into giant stones. They cannot be killed — the name derives from a word meaning "to be alive" — because their source of life is hidden in a secret spot in the woods or sometimes in one ankle.

(Perhaps this explains why the three dozen hunters who have shot at Sasquatch have all failed to bring one back.) Nevertheless, says Don Smith, Tsunoqua is "a terrible dum-dum who is usually just about falling asleep." (Although a Sasquatch is able to hypnotize his prey, he can himself be put to sleep by circling a pointed finger in his face.) So Tsunoqua is usually thwarted, often by the hitherto despised youth who figures heroically in numerous folk tales of all nations.

In one Kwakiutl tale, a crippled boy whose warnings went unheeded cuts a hole in the basket, allowing all the captured children to escape. Tsunoqua then appears at a village feast, where her vanity and her desire for human beauty usually prove her undoing. (In stories of the Abominable Snowman of Asia, mimicry is a common feature.) She wishes to wear carrings like the pretty girls and asks to have her cars pierced-whereupon spikes are driven into her thick skull.

The body is then invariably shoveled into a large pit — as jack the giant killer did with his first victim — where a fire is started by hot rocks. A hollow voice sings from the ashes:

I have the magic treasure,

I have the supernatural power,

I can return to life.

When the ashes are stirred, they fly up and metamorphose into lesser, but far more bothersome, cannibals — mosquitoes. Potent and pathetic, attuned to nature and yet a stumblebum around the village, the Tsunoqua, like the Sasquatch, is a marvelous image of shaggy old humanity left behind, the natural way, strong but stumped.

The lore surrounding the creature is properly ambivalent: to hear the Tsunoqua brings good fortune; to see one is calamitous. Don Smith does not quite believe in the physical existence of Sasquatch; for one thing, he remembers that he once carved a pair of gigantic wooden feet for some practical jokers. But he suspects the myth goes very deep, if only because so many Indian mothers use the story to get their children inside at bedtime. A few years ago, he was at Neah Bay, looking at some Sasquatch tracks.

At dusk, Smith or Lelooshka, to use his Kwakiutl name, watched a father position his young son's feet in the giant prints. Then the boy put his palms in the track and rubbed them on his chest, "to get the power."
ETA: Link to original article:

http://www.bigfootencounters.com/art...sasquatch2.htm
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2 prints, 1 trackway, same 'dermals'? 'Unfortunately no' says Meldrum.

I want to see bigfoot throw a pig... Is that wrong? -LTC8K6

Last edited by kitakaze; 29th January 2008 at 11:06 AM.
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Old 29th January 2008, 11:01 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by madurobob View Post
Lots of good stuff here, Kit! Thanks for compiling into a single thread.. and keep up the good work.

FWIW I have a friend who grew up on the Ute Indian reservation in NW Utah. I asked her about bigfoot legends a while back and she looked at me like I was crazy. She said they had lots of legends of anthropomorphised bears and even had an annual festival/dance/ritual around one of them, but nothing even close to bigfoot.
Thanks, Maduro. I appreciate it. Though bigfoot enthusiasts like to trot out the old hallmark that the natives 'just know' and laugh at the white man as he tries to capture or find the Boss of the Woods, I suspect that in truth many Native American people with a strong knowledge of the culture and traditions would have similar 'yeah, what?' type reactions as your friend when asked about bigfoot.
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Until better evidence is provided, the best solution to the PGF is that it is a man in a suit. -Astrophotographer.

2 prints, 1 trackway, same 'dermals'? 'Unfortunately no' says Meldrum.

I want to see bigfoot throw a pig... Is that wrong? -LTC8K6
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Old 29th January 2008, 11:08 AM   #13
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Let me advance through a slightly different path. The most obvious path, "every culture that I am aware of has myths about half-human-half-beast creatures", will be left aside.

Bigfoot researchers frequently talk about alleged similarities between wildman myths from Native American tribes (perhaps it would be better to write between selected aspects of selected myths). They say the focus should be on the physical characteristics of these entities and not on their roles, magical powers and behavior. The renderings obtained from the descriptions are claimed to be very similar from coast to coast. This, they say, would point towards a real creature at the roots of these myths, since the odds of different cultures scattered across the continent independently developing such similar mythical beings would be very low.

I will also leave aside methodological questions regarding how the physical characteristics of these mythological creatures are selected and assembled in to an archetypical sasquatch, as well as the possibility of recent "cultural contamination".

Lets just consider one aspect: how likely it was that Native American tribes spreaded across the continent could exchange their myths.

Here we will find a major weak point in this line of reasoning. There was at last one myth that was shared by distant tribes. The myth of the trickster who brought the fire to humans. Britsh Columbia, Georgia and Alabama; among tribes located nearly 5000km away from each other, the tale is nearly the same. Only the animals who play the trickster are different- coyote, crow or rabbit. More details can be found at Campbell's The Masks of God- Primitive Mythology and among the refferences he points towards.

It seems to me that this is strong evidence pointing towards contacts with cultural and mythological dissemination/interchange among Native North American tribes. In this perspective, finding myths about hairy wildmen among tribes separated by thousands of kilometers is not actually unexpected or implausible. And these myths can not be presented as reliable evidence for sasquatch/bigfeet being anything other than mythological creatures.
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Old 29th January 2008, 11:36 AM   #14
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Is it possible that many of the Indian legends were the result of Sleep Hallucinations/ Fever/ Psychodelic Spirit Walks, etc...? Which were interpreted by their medicine men, or shamans as (Insert resulting spiritual figure here)?

Narcolepsy would have induced sleep hallucinations, which would have been interpreted in the best way they knew... spirits. When humans nowadays have sleep hallucinations/paralysis, they interpret them as Ufos, Bigfoots, Devils etc...
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Old 29th January 2008, 11:52 AM   #15
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Sure myths could have been spread among them but I dont think they could have spread to all of them .
I am a good example I knew nothing about bigfoot except from what I saw on tv back in the 70s .
That was it I thought they where only out west and also knew most people thought they where not real .
I never gave it another thought untell I came face to face with it in my back yard .
If all of these tribes where talking about them and they all had stories of them then they must have saw something for them to want to wright about it .
I wouldent be if had not seen it so why would they ?
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Old 29th January 2008, 12:21 PM   #16
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Why would only native americans be helped by Sasquatch?

Originally Posted by Creekfreak View Post
I asked a hopi elder about bigfoot one time not expecting to get a responce but he surprized me with more then I ever expected .
He only told me things becouse he liked me and he asked me to never tell any one else .
Well I did and I feel bad about it but what he knew needed to be told Ive never used his name and I never will .
He told me when he was a young man he was over 100 when he told me this he would go into the wilderness by himself for months at a time just wandering .
He did not say what wilderness he was wandering in I assume though most likley the four cornors area he said he was in the mountains .
I wont get into everything he told me its just to much and most of it I will keep to my self untell I know for sure what he said is true .
He told me he was rock climeing one day and he fell and broke his leg he knew he was going to die there becouse no one knew where he was .
He had given up hope when a creature came to him he called it a sasquatch picked him up and took him to its camp where there where others .
I think he said about 6 of them its been a long time my memory is not that great .
With out geting into a lot of detail he explaned to me how they commuicated and that he had no problem understanding them .
He also told me about there crafts and how they made usefull things and how they treated him .
Thats about all I will tell you about this at this time some of the things he said to me I will keep to myself untell I have more proof .
I have no reason to beleave he was lieing to me becouse some of the things he said where so different from what you hear about bigfoot from any other sourse .
He is one of the reasons I got into this so deep I just have to find out for myself .
I want to talk to them face to face .
Ive had the face to face encounter but he did not respond to me I want to know why he dident .
There are many other questions I want to ask also and the only way to find out is to get close to them .
Only a person that has never seen one would have negative thoughts about them .
I hope you people see one some day and I hope you feel as blessed as I did when you do let me know I want to hear about it .

White people roam around in the woods and sometimes get lost. Some of them never make it back but some do. Why didn't Sasquatch help them find the way out? Why avoid us? If they can help an injured person and make "useful things" then they could trade with us and perhaps get useful things from us.
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Old 29th January 2008, 12:35 PM   #17
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I'd like to hear some detail about how they communicated with the elder. That would be helpful, I suppose. Was it sign language, verbal, mental, written -- what? How much detail can there be to that?
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Old 29th January 2008, 01:14 PM   #18
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Maybe they dont like white people .
No I promised not to say somethings and besides that I wouldent want to give the impression I am supporting someone elses claims .
If I find them to be true then you will hear about it I promise.
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Old 29th January 2008, 02:56 PM   #19
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moved post
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Bigfoot believers and Bigfoot skeptics are both plumb crazy. Each spends more than one minute per year thinking about Bigfoot.

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Old 29th January 2008, 03:02 PM   #20
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No this is a mobile bigfoot research lab http://www.maximog.com/ link to all the goodies http://www.maximog.com/ve_tech.html

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Old 29th January 2008, 03:34 PM   #21
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And care to explain the relevance of it all to the topic this thread is supposed to discuss?
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Old 29th January 2008, 06:00 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by kitakaze View Post
A common theme that has often come up here and in general with proponents is the statement as fact that Native American traditions and myths support the existence of bigfoot. This has been discussed many times to varying degrees of depth in other threads but I think it would be best to have a devoted thread on the subject as it is a persistent notion.

It is my assertion that Native American traditions do not support the existence of bigfoot and that what is put forth by bigfoot enthusiasts as evidence for the existence of bigfoot has been cherry-picked and misrepresented. IMO this at best amounts to a collection of boogeyman tales not significantly different than that of countless other cultures.

A good example of this is the lengthy discussion in the 'Simple Challenge for Bigfoot Supporters' thread regarding kushtaka (k'cta-qa), a mythical being in the traditions of the Tlingit people of northwestern North America. We were told that kushtaka was a well-known and supported term for bigfoot and after much discussion and examination by skeptics the claim was dropped after the 'Land Otter Man' nature of the myth was established.

More recently we were told of the bukwus of the Kwakiutl people of Northern Vancouver Island:



This poster was apparently unaware of the legendary Thunderbird and its place in Kwakiutl mythology. As for the supposed sasquatch/bukwus, again, critical examination reveals...

From the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture:

https://www.washington.edu/burkemuse...y.php?ID=93120

From northwestcoastnativeartists.com:



http://www.northwestcoastnativeartis...bolsDetail=008

One of the main proponents of correlations between Native traditions/mythology and bigfoot existence is a lady we've enjoyed much discussion with on the subject in the past here, US Forest Service Archaeologist Kathy Moskowitz Strain. Kathy is a bright women with a fine sense of humour who has over the years invested much study on the matter. She has a book on the subject forthcoming that is due to be released sometime this year IIRC. Kathy is a well-known bigfoot proponent/researcher who has appeared on the History Channel series Monster Quest a number of times. She posts here under the handle 'Hairyman'.

Here is a youtube clip of her speaking on Native myths/traditions and bigfoot on the 'Gigantopithecus: The Real King Kong' episode of Monster Quest:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=vUThgEGxjEM

I find myself in disagreement with some key ideas of Kathy's on the subject and think some can be illustrated by her comments in the above Monster Quest clip. For example, the statement "...as a scientist and archaeologist it doesn't make sense to me that tribes would give names to imaginary creatures." I find it difficult following Strain's reasoning here. It seems to presuppose the idea that Native American cultures did not have mythical creatures when, as is clear with the example of the ubiquitous Thunderbird, we know this to not be the case.

She also states in the clip "that Native Americans have literally a hundred names for these creatures and I'm still discovering them." Interestingly she then lists a few and includes the word 'sasquatch' which we have often been told to be a native word. Once again, upon further examination the word turns out to be a neologism coined in the 20's by a British Colombian school teacher, J.W. Burns:



Here is a partial list of tradtional Native names from the eastern United States provided by Strain that are supposed to represent bigfoot:



One thing I would like to accomplish in this thread is to examine some of these myths and traditions critically and see how well they correlate to what we are commonly told of bigfoot. One should keep in mind though that there is nowhere near a consensus on what bigfoot is.

My question to bigfoot enthusiasts is what Native American myth or tradition do you think most clearly and obviously represents bigfoot? For my part I will attempt to identify and examine some of the more touted examples.
I just felt like WASTING some more bandwidth........whew, that felt good!!

So, some indians believed in the bigfoot? and some americans believe in some dude that dies on a cross.......

Show me the difference?

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Old 29th January 2008, 08:42 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by XBoxWarrior View Post
I just felt like WASTING some more bandwidth........whew, that felt good!!
I'm sorry, XBW, I may be interpreting this the wrong way but am I to gather that you find the OP or the subject it pertains to to be a waste of time? If so, you're welcome to the opinion but I strongly disagree.

Originally Posted by XBoxWarrior View Post
So, some indians believed in the bigfoot? and some americans believe in some dude that dies on a cross.......

Show me the difference?
Maybe you are missing the point of the OP or maybe you do get the point but think it irrelevant. Either way, I'll reiterate it.

Bigfoot enthusiasts constantly assert as common knowledge the idea that indigenous cultures of North America widely hold beliefs of bigfoot and have countless myths and traditions pertaining to the creature. I am contending that this is a false social construct propagated and perpetuated by bigfooters to garner support for their fantasy beast.
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Old 29th January 2008, 09:11 PM   #24
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So what you are saying is that the many thousands of people that are not indains that have seen it are all haveing the same fantasy ?
Do you really think all the people that have seen this creature are geting together to try and make up a big hoax ?
Man Ive never seen such lack of trust for the human species as you have .

And you say us bigfooters are crazzy thats the crazzest thing Ive ever heard .
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Old 30th January 2008, 03:37 AM   #25
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Given that the many thousands of people cannot come up with any evidence better than "The Native Indians say it exists", the likelihood is that they were all mistaken.
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Old 30th January 2008, 04:09 AM   #26
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Native American folklore is a valuable commodity. Given that much of it is oral tradition, what is the probability that some of the stories about sasquatch/bigfoot began after Western culture colonized America? Native Americans are as human as anybody else.. and many understand capitalism quite well. The exchange might be, "Heard anything about bigfoot?" "Got any dough?" "yes." "yes."
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Old 30th January 2008, 04:37 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by XBoxWarrior View Post
...snip...So, some indians believed in the bigfoot? and some americans believe in some dude that dies on a cross.......

Show me the difference?
Now, here's an interesting line!

See, sasquatch myths can be seen as part of Native American religions (Kathy Strain, if you are reading this, please correct me if I'm wrong). Modern bigfoot myth (which is part of modern North American folklore) was thus partly built through assimilation of some bits of religious mythology. I think it would be accurate to say through the rationalization or "scientification" of the myths- twisting, actually, if you ask me.

In this process, aspects which were compatible with a flesh-and-bones ape-like creature were selected, used and emphasized. Most of these aspects are related to the physical descriptions of the creatures. The religious or "paranormal" side (shape-shifting, spiritual guides, travelling through worlds, etc.) were left aside and discarted as "unscientific". This, in many cases, its in my opinion, distortion, twisting and misinterpretation (OK, one can argue if myths can really be misinterpreted).

As a sidenote, the original core functions or roles of the myths (pass messages and teatchings) are lost in such process. The myth becomes nothing but an empty shell. Of course, these highly modified versions of the sasquatch myths, when incorporated in the current bigfoot myth, will acquire new meanings and pass new messages. Please note that at this precise point, its no longer fair to say "myth distortion" or "twisting", since we are seeing a proccess that happens when cultures (and subcultures as well) somehow contact each other, regardless of our personal feelings about this.

Back on track, a very similar -if not identical- case can be seen in UFOlogy. Selected pieces of ancient myths and religious texts are incorporated in to UFO and similar lores as ancient astronauts.

No, its not a surprise!
Many people all around the world believe Christ was the son of god. A number of them believe Christ and god were an aliens! A few will see evidences for bigfeet in the Bible and ancient religious mythological texts. And the wheel keeps turning...
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Old 30th January 2008, 05:22 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by m_huber View Post
Native American folklore is a valuable commodity. Given that much of it is oral tradition, what is the probability that some of the stories about sasquatch/bigfoot began after Western culture colonized America? Native Americans are as human as anybody else.. and many understand capitalism quite well. The exchange might be, "Heard anything about bigfoot?" "Got any dough?" "yes." "yes."
Western Culture may have influenced the perpetuation of the bigfoot myth in two ways.

1. They brought disease to the New World that the Native Americans had no defense against. This may have included fevers which led to Hallucinations, which were interpreted by the Shamans as 'Spirits'

2. The Legends of Spiritual Beings in Indian Storytelling would have suffered different fates depending on the Region and the severity of the disease in that area. Areas around Cape Cod, 90% of the Native Americans were killed by disease whereas the death rate in the Western tribes was probably not as high. So the stories were passed on in tribes where they were not as decimated. White explorers would sit with Native Americans and hear these stories, and go back to their editors and relate the stories to them, thus birthing the 'Bigfoot' legend.
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Old 30th January 2008, 05:53 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Creekfreak View Post
So what you are saying is that the many thousands of people that are not indains that have seen it are all haveing the same fantasy ?
I challenge you to show that many thousands of people have seen bigfoot. Better yet, I'll make it easier for you. I set to you the challenge of even partially supporting your statement by showing that many thousands of people even claim to have seen bigfoot. Documented evidence that many thousands of people claim to have seen unambiguously with their own eyes bigfoot. Can you do that? I'm quite confident you can't. Will you be the consumate bigfoot enthusiast and state wishes as fact? I'm quite confident you will.
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Old 30th January 2008, 06:37 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by m_huber View Post
Native American folklore is a valuable commodity. Given that much of it is oral tradition, what is the probability that some of the stories about sasquatch/bigfoot began after Western culture colonized America? Native Americans are as human as anybody else.. and many understand capitalism quite well. The exchange might be, "Heard anything about bigfoot?" "Got any dough?" "yes." "yes."
It's not only valuable, but variable. Cherokee mythology alone has many different variants of the basic mythos--and while there are no "bigfoot" tales per se, the Cherokee have myths of the "moon-eyed people," essentially spirits who can be dangerous, helpful, or merely tricky.
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Old 30th January 2008, 06:47 AM   #31
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I don't think its that hard to imagine a scenario like this:

Somewhere and sometime in the XIX Century a naturalist or a hunter hires a Native American guide. At night they chat about important stuff: game, women, guns, women, game, guns, women and, oh, yes, and also about their beliefs.

The Native American, at a certain point, talks about the legend of a hairy wildman. The naturalist (or hunter) says: "You seem to be describing a gorilla!". "What's a gorilla?" asks the guide. The naturalist (or hunter) then describes a gorilla. Both men store the information tidbits they care about.

Later:

Native American at his tribe- "Hey fellows, you know that white guy who hired me? He says something like the Kecleh-Kudleh is real and lives at a land beyond the ocean.

Naturalist (or hunter) back home- "Hey fellows, a Cherokee guy I hired as a guide talked about gorillas-like animals in the forests!"

A seed for bigfoot myth was planted...
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Old 30th January 2008, 06:52 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Correa Neto View Post
Please note that at this precise point, its no longer fair to say "myth distortion" or "twisting", since we are seeing a proccess that happens when cultures (and subcultures as well) somehow contact each other, regardless of our personal feelings about this.
Excellent point, Correa. That's another slant that I didn't mention in any of my posts that must be considered. Bigfoot is a myth. A modern myth but a myth nonetheless. Made in North America by modern North Americans, known by many names, a variation on the old. I believe it is a myth that will only continue to grow.

Let us not forget that the cherry-picking of native traditions and myths to tailor fit the currently popular notion of bigfoot as an upright ape (as Meldrum devotes the entire third chapter of his 'Sasquatch' book to do) is still a point of much contention within the bigfoot enthusiast community. A major portion still contend that bigfoot is no ape but rather something more human. I believe the relatively recent push within bigfootery to solidify the ape position is spearheaded by those who actively strive to gain scientific credibility.

When bigfoot was first being conceptualized by people like Patterson words like Neanderthal floated around much more freely. The question begging to be asked is what values this new myth instills in us or aspect of our psyche it speaks to. The whole man-beast aspect is one of the obvious elements. As is our anxiety at the destruction of nature around us and our desire to be more harmonious with it.

I think instead of rehashing what's been already said, I would point to where the issue is addressed far more in depth in David Brewster's 'Our Last Monster' article that I partially quoted above.
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I want to see bigfoot throw a pig... Is that wrong? -LTC8K6
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Old 30th January 2008, 07:01 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Spektator View Post
It's not only valuable, but variable. Cherokee mythology alone has many different variants of the basic mythos--and while there are no "bigfoot" tales per se, the Cherokee have myths of the "moon-eyed people," essentially spirits who can be dangerous, helpful, or merely tricky.
I'm very glad to see you in this thread, Spektator. To be frank your skills with fact checking and research are most welcome.
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2 prints, 1 trackway, same 'dermals'? 'Unfortunately no' says Meldrum.

I want to see bigfoot throw a pig... Is that wrong? -LTC8K6
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Old 30th January 2008, 07:10 AM   #34
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Nice work kitakaze. I've seen Native Americans used as a human woo shield before. It's a useful strategy, because it makes casual debunking that much harder, and the claim that much more ancient, mystical and appealing. Even those who won't buy it as proof of a thing's existence, may well take it on face value as proof that the myth in question has greater antiquity than it actually does.
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Old 30th January 2008, 07:17 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Correa Neto View Post
I don't think its that hard to imagine a scenario like this.
Or this:

19th century Kwakiutl village where trade is being conducted with western mariners. An illiterate British sailor knowledgable of superstitions is chatting with an illiterate tribesman knowledgable of superstions.

Sailor: "What's that funny carving there?"

Tribesman: "That is Dsonoqua. She is the wild woman of the woods."

S: "Oh... We have those too. We call them woodwoses."

T: "Oh..."

...
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2 prints, 1 trackway, same 'dermals'? 'Unfortunately no' says Meldrum.

I want to see bigfoot throw a pig... Is that wrong? -LTC8K6
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Old 30th January 2008, 07:35 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Big Les View Post
Nice work kitakaze. I've seen Native Americans used as a human woo shield before.
Originally Posted by Big Les View Post
It's a useful strategy, because it makes casual debunking that much harder, and the claim that much more ancient, mystical and appealing. Even those who won't buy it as proof of a thing's existence, may well take it on face value as proof that the myth in question has greater antiquity than it actually does.
You know, that's good that you bring that up, Les. I was thinking about just that today; about how it's been posited as fact for such a long time and that so many skeptics (myself included) had taken it at face value.

We allowed ourselves to be preoccupied with explaining to footers the fultility of using myths to back up arguments that we forgot to say "Wait a minute, let's just have a look at that." I think the same is the case when you see so many footers like Creekfreak talk about the many thousands of people that have seen a bigfoot. I think it's something they pull out of their hats so often because they've gotten so used to nobody challenging it. Every time it comes out of the hat the number of claimers shoots up, the number of indigenous names shoots up.

You scratch a little and you find that this database made by footers here has 300ish reports in it, a hefty portion of which don't mention only sounds or some snapped branches and the feeling of being watched. You check and you find this native word you were told means bigfoot actually comes out to 'beaver scare noisy butt'.
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2 prints, 1 trackway, same 'dermals'? 'Unfortunately no' says Meldrum.

I want to see bigfoot throw a pig... Is that wrong? -LTC8K6
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Old 30th January 2008, 07:42 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by kitakaze View Post
I'm very glad to see you in this thread, Spektator. To be frank your skills with fact checking and research are most welcome.
Thanks--if I have the time! I'm teaching again this semester, and the historian whose book I'm checking (I can't give much away, but it covers the years 1965-2000) is turning in great chunks of material to me now. I have to review it and verify all the quotations (hey! I'm getting to read some FBI and CIA files declassified under the Freedom of Information Act! Dreadfully dull stuff, sadly). Anyway, the book is due at the publisher March 1, and the writer is behind schedule. We're just up to 1980 with his last chapters, and tomorrow I'm expecting to get chapters running from 1980-85, or thereabouts. I'd expected to be finished by this point!
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Last edited by Spektator; 30th January 2008 at 07:43 AM.
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Old 30th January 2008, 08:42 AM   #38
Maldon
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Quote:
"...as a scientist and archaeologist it doesn't make sense to me that tribes would give names to imaginary creatures."
As a fellow archaeologist I find this statement to be embarrassing.
Or maybe I should go to Lebanon and look for Huwawa (Humbaba in Arcadian).
There might be more than the one Gilgamesh killed.
I mean, native people won't make such things up!

But good topic, Kit.
These myths needs to be investigated some more.
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Old 30th January 2008, 08:50 AM   #39
William Parcher
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Originally Posted by kitakaze View Post
Excellent point, Correa. That's another slant that I didn't mention in any of my posts that must be considered. Bigfoot is a myth. A modern myth but a myth nonetheless. Made in North America by modern North Americans, known by many names, a variation on the old. I believe it is a myth that will only continue to grow.
I believe that it is shrinking in noticible ways. I'm not talking about the total number of people who believe at any given time. I'm talking about how the argument for Bigfoot is being forced to redefine itself in the face of skepticism. It is painting itself into an increasingly smaller corner. This comes from a combination of their own proclamations and public arguments with skeptics. It is a conflicting dynamic that resembles predator/prey relationships. Both evolve over time with no purpose other than to continually 'pick each others' locks'. Each side 'believes' in its own righteousness and the necessity of self-preservation. BF skeptics force changes in Bigfootery and vice-versa. It is also similar to the conflict between creationists and evolutionists.

The battle moves forward in time with an increasing hyperdefinition of what it means to be a creationist or an evolutionist. The two sides do engage each other in argument, but the bulk of time and effort is spent talking to your own side. New 'inductees' to either side seem to be more numerous than noticible 'defections' from one side to the other. The most devoted and convicted are not easily swayed to switching sides. The most devoted Bigfooters want skeptics to somehow prove that Bigfoot does not exist before they will concede to being wrong. The skeptics want a body (or other valid biological evidence) before they will concede to being wrong. So you can see the writing-on-the-wall that comes from the inherent disparity of the two positions. Belief in BF can continue ad infinitum even without any confirmatory evidence and also with an increasingly powerful skeptical position. But skepticism must stop in its tracks the moment a body is delivered.

The discussion of modern and evolving Bigfootery is not tangential to to the topic of this thread. You really have to look at the believers and how they argue to understand the fundamentals of Bigfoot belief and why it perpetuates. Each individual believer is a case in itself, while the whole of them is what we all regard as "Bigfooters". They do come in all flavors, and it even includes the most simple single scoop of vanilla... "I think all of the evidence is pretty crappy and unsupportable; but I still believe."
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Old 30th January 2008, 09:01 AM   #40
kitakaze
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Originally Posted by Maldon View Post
As a fellow archaeologist I find this statement to be embarrassing.
Or maybe I should go to Lebanon and look for Huwawa (Humbaba in Arcadian).
There might be more than the one Gilgamesh killed.
I mean, native people won't make such things up!

But good topic, Kit.
These myths needs to be investigated some more.
Thank you, Maldon. I think poor Mrs. Strain is going to think I'm picking on her but just prior to that statement in this clip:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=vUThgEGxjEM

...she says "One of the things that, as an archaeologist, solidifies that this is a real animal is the Native Americans have literally a hundred names, and I'm still discovering them, for this animal and it is... Such as stemahah, omah, sasquatch, skookum. There's many, many names and (into the statement I already quoted).

I'm afraid that I have to strongly disagree with that statement and I don't think she properly considered what she was saying.
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