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Legendary Native American Figures: Uktena

Name: Uktena
Tribal affiliation: Cherokee
Alternate spellings: Uk'tena, Unktena, Ukatena, Uktin, Uhktena
Pronunciation: ook-tay-nah
Also known as: Antlered Serpent
Type: Lake monster, serpent
Related figures in other tribes: Sintholo (Choctaw), Unktehila (Sioux), Maneto (Kickapoo), Big Water Snake (Blackfoot), Apotamkin (Passamaquoddy)

Uktena is a dragon-like horned serpent of Cherokee legend. The first Uktena was said to be transformed from a human man in a failed assassination attempt on the sun. Most other Uktena tales have to do with Cherokee heroes slaying one. They are malevolent and deadly monsters.

Uktena Stories

    Cherokee myth about the origin and powers of the Uktena serpent.
*The Snake Boy:
    Cherokee legend about a boy who became an Uktena after his family rejected him.
*The Tlanuhwa and The Uhktena:
    Cherokee legends about the Tlanuwa and Uktena monsters.

Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends

The First Fire:
    Anthology of stories from the Kickapoo, Cherokee, Kiowa, and Tigua tribes.
Southeastern Native American Legends:
    Book comparing the traditional stories of the Cherokee and other Southeast tribes.

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Additional Resources

 Seeking the Corn Mother's Wisdom
 Cherokee mythology
 Cherokee language lessons
 Cherokee words
 Cherokee names
 Kentucky tribes
 Southeast tribes
 Iroquoian language family

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