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Native American Legends: Katshituashku, the Stiff-Jointed Bear

Name: Katshituashku
Tribal affiliation: Innu, Cree, Naskapi
Alternate spellings: Katshituasku, Katcitowack, Katcheetohuskw, Katci-to'wack'w, Katcitowackw, Katciitowackw, Katshitushk, Katcitowu'sk, Ka'gitowa'sko, Kacitowaskw, Katshituseu, Katshituask, Kakatshwa, Katshitushk, Katcheetohuskw, Katshitushku
Pronunciation: varies depending on dialect: usually kah-chee-too-ahshk or kah-jee-toh-wahsk.
Also known as: Stiff-Jointed Bear, Misi-Maskwa
Type: Monster, stiff-legged bear
Related figures in other tribes: Great Naked Bear, Yakwawi'ak, Man-Eater, Hairless Bear

Katshituashku was described as a monstrous, man-eating creature resembling an enormous stiff-legged hairless bear with a large head. Its names literally mean "stiff-jointed bear" or "stiffly walking bear." (Misi-Maskwa means "giant bear.") Some folklorists believe this creature may have been inspired by mammoths or mastodon fossils. You can visit our stiff-legged bear site to read some opinions about that.

Katshituashku Stories

*Mammoth or Stiff-Legged Bear:
    Academic discussion of stiff-legged bear mythology including Cree and Naskapi stories.
*Tshakapesh and the Elephant Monster:
    Innu myth about the culture hero fighting the monster Katcheetohuskw.

Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends
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When the Chenoo Howls: Native American Tales of Terror:
    Spooky collection of Native American ghost stories and monster tales, told by a Native storyteller.
Wolverine Creates The World:
    Collection of Innu legends and folktales from Labrador.

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Additional Resources

 Innu mythology
 Innu First Nation
 Cree Indians
 Quebec languages
 The Subarctic
 Algic languages research

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