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Legendary Native American Figures: Wood Man (Woodsman)

Name: Wood Man
Tribal affiliation: Ahtna, Koyukon
Native names: Nuhu'anh (Ahtna)
Also known as: Woodsman, Woodman, Wood-Man, Woods Man
Type: Forest spirit, Bigfoot
Related figures in other tribes: Sasquatch (Coast Salish)

Wood Man is a hairy bigfoot-like wild man of the forest who moves silently and rarely reveals himself to humans. Frequently he steals things or causes other minor mischief. In some stories Wood Men capture Athabaskan children or pursue humans and attempt to mate with them. In some tribes, such as the Ahtna, there is said to be only one Woodsman, who is an immortal mythological character. In other tribes, Woodsmen of both genders are said to exist. They may overlap with Bush Indians in the folklore of some communities, but most Athabaskans consider them different beings-- Bush Indians are more aggressive, more humanlike, and live in tribes, whereas Woodsmen are solitary, stealthy, and do not kill people.

Woodsman Stories

The Wild Woman:
    Two Koyukon elders telling the story of a woman who became a Woodsman.

Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends

In the Shadows of Mountains:
    Collection of legends from the Copper River Ahtna tribe.
Tatl'Ahwt'Aenn Nenn: The Headwaters People's Country:
    Folklore and oral history of the Upper Ahtna Athabaskans.
Our Voices: Native Stories of Alaska and the Yukon:
    Collection of legends and oral history from the Northern Athabaskan tribes.

Additional Resources

 Koyukon stories
 Ahtna language
 Koyukon language
 Alaska Native American tribes
 Subarctic cultures
 Athabascans



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