Native American cultures
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Legendary Native American Figures: Man-Eater
Tribal affiliation: Alabama, Creek, Coushatta, Natchez, Chitimacha
Native names: Atipa-Tcoba, Isti-Papa, Neka-cí Ckamí, Neka-ci Ckami
Also known as: Big Man-Eater, Maneater, Elephant, Cannibal Monster
Type: Monster, stiff-legged bear
Related figures in other tribes: Naked Bear, Katcheetohuskw, Ya'kwahe, Hairless Bear
Man-Eater was a mythological monster of the Southeastern tribes, a huge carnivorous creature that preyed on humans.
Its appearance varied greatly from tribe to tribe-- in some tribes Man-Eater was described as being bearlike,
similar to Naked Bear monsters of the northern tribes. In others, such as the Creek and Seminole tribes,
Man-Eater was described as a feline monster similar to a giant mountain lion. In the Alabama and Koasati
tribes, many modern people associate Big Man-Eater with elephants. Some folklorists believe the legend of Man-Eater
may have been inspired by mammoths or mastodon fossils. You can visit our
stiff-legged bear site to read some
opinions about that.
In any case, although the monster's name is translated as "Cannibal" or "Big Cannibal" in some texts, that is a slight
error in translation. The Native American names for this monster literally mean simply "man-eater."
This creature is not human or humanoid in any story that we know of, but is always a giant four-legged animal.
Big Man-Eater Stories
Rabbit and Big Man-Eater The Adventures of Rabbit and Big Man Eater Rabbit and Big Man-Eater Rabbit Kills Big Man-Eater:
Alabama Indian stories about Rabbit's encounters with a Big Man-Eater.
Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends
When the Chenoo Howls:
Spooky collection of Native American ghost stories and monster tales, told by a Native storyteller.
Journey to the West
Southeast Woodland cultures
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