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.