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Native American Legends: Sharp-Elbows

Name: Sharp-Elbows
Alternate spellings: Sharp Elbows
Tribal affiliation: Ioway, Otoe, Winnebago
Native Names: Itopa'hi
Type: Monster
Related figures in other tribes: Twoface (Sioux), Red Woman (Crow), Headless Men (Wichita)

Sharp-Elbows is a malevolent humanoid monster of the Chiwere and Winnebago tribes. He resembles a human but with long bone spikes protruding from his elbows, which he uses to stab people to death. In some stories he also has a second face on the back of his head, like the Sioux Doubleface. In some stories Two-Face is a predator who eats humans, but in most he is an evil being who kills simply for the sake of killing, frequently targeting women and children.

Two-Face Stories

*Itopa'hi and the Twins:
    Ioway story about a Sharp-Elbows that kills a pregnant woman, whose twins survive and avenge her.
*Hare Kills Sharp Elbows:
    Ho-Chunk (Winnebago) story about the culture hero Hare killing his great-uncle, a Sharp-Elbows.

Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends
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When the Chenoo Howls: Native American Tales of Terror:
    Collection of Native American monster stories by an acclaimed Native storyteller.

Additional Resources

 Ioway language
 Ioway tribe
 Otoe tribe
 Winnebago language
 Winnebago Indians
 Great Plains Indian tribes

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