The term “sasquatch” comes from the Halkomelem word “sasq’ets” which is just a name for “wild men”, essentially referring to bigfoot-like creatures. Halkomelem was a language spoken by a small group of Native Americans on the border between British Columbia and Washington. 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 Yakima and Klamath in the Pacific Northwest suggest these beings are a feral, cannibalistic mountain-dwelling tribe called ‘Stick Indians’ that whistle and lure wayward travelers to their doom. The Hoopa people believe in Ohmah, a race of giant, hairy, mostly-passive humanoids that live deep in the wilderness and speak a strange, but distinctly Native American dialect. And in the Southeastern United States, the Choctaw Indians have stories of violent, hairy, man-like beings called Shampes who live deep in the thickets and smell repulsive.

Here’s a list of Native American words for Bigfoot.

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