American Indian language
American Indian culture
Native American Legends: Maxemista
Tribal affiliation: Cheyenne
Alternate spellings: Ma'xemestaa'e, Ma'xe-mestaa'e
Also Known As: Hairy Men
Related figures in other tribes: Chiye Tanka (Sioux),
Maxemista is a large, hairy humanoid creature, somewhat like the Sasquatch or Bigfoot of the Northwestern tribes,
only with birdlike feet. The name Maxemista literally means "big monster" or "big spirit being."
Though Maxemista was considered a powerful and dangerous being, it was also said to be rather shy and stay
out of people's way, unlike the aggressive
Maxemista were probably the same Hairy Men mentioned in the Cheyenne creation myth, who lived in caves to
the south of the Cheyennes and were notable for their shaggy body hair and lack of clothing (though they were
sometimes said to use tools.) Most Cheyenne oral history that mentioned the
Hairy Men regarded them as extinct or nearly so. The Hairy Men Clan (Hevhaitanio) was said by some to have be
named in honor of these beings.
Great Medicine Makes a Beautiful Country:
The Cheyenne creation epic, discussing the migrations of the Indians and the Hairy Men.
Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends
Tales of the Cheyennes:
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Collection of Cheyenne legends and folktales.
Excellent anthology of stories, songs, and oral history from the Cheyenne and other Algonquian tribes.
Southern Cheyenne words
Plains Indians languages
Algonquian language words
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