Bigfoot Encounters

Steta'l and Stetats  

Steta'l and Stetats
Washington State verbiage of the Puyallup, the Nisqually Indian people and the Muckleshoot tribes, whose original territory extended along the Puyallup, the Nisqually, and the Green Rivers, near Commencement Bay in Washington. The words reference a giant covered in hair that walks.

The Muckleshoot language is a dialect of Puget Salish, or Whulshootseed. It belongs to the eastern Puget Sound group along with Nisqually, Puyallup, Suquamish, Duwamish, Squaxin, Stillaquamish, Snoqualmie, Skykomish, Snohomish, and Skajit. In addition, many Lummi, Nooksack, and Twana also speak the same language. Most of the tribe’s younger generation use English instead of their native tongue, but some of the elders still teach the native language to the younger people and occasionally the Steta'l word is spoken.

These native languages are quite different from the English, containing several sounds without English equivalent letters, which is an important note to remember when white men try to spell Native American inflections/sounds. Also, one native word can mean an entire concept or sentence in English because the alphabet consists of 41 sounds. Each has their own terminology denoting sasquatch-like beings but today steta’l is considered ‘old language of the elders, youthful Indians used more common terms like bigfoot or sasquatch and to a lesser extent, boq, bukwas, bokwus.

Because of the many different tribal languages and because trade was carried on among several different tribes, the Chinook trade jargon grew. It contained the most easily understood or most used words from all different languages. As the influx of French and English speaking people grew, so also the terminology and its usage grew. This jargon was never meant to replace a language, but merely for use in facilitating trade or general conversation. Perhaps if the ethnic balance had remained the same, with some modifications, Chinook could have become the universal language of the northwest. (Suttles)

The Saulk Nation in Tacoma, Washington makes use the term stetats to mean man that walks with hair or hairy man... (Suttles)

Suttles, Dr. Wayne, (1918 – 2005) Noted anthropologist and friend to the bigfoot community; personal correspondence and help with Salish languages and the meanings of terminology meant to reference sasquatch-type creatures color much of the inventory in my database. His interest and guidance in helping understand the language and cultures of the Native American Nations has been beyond measure.

Suttles, Dr. Wayne: Musqueam Reference Grammar (First Nations Languages) (Hardcover - May 2004)

Handbook of North American Indians, Volume 7: Northwest Coast (Handbook of North American Indians) by Wayne Suttles and William Sturtevant (Hardcover - Aug 20, 1990)

Coast Salish Essays by Wayne Suttles (Paperback - Feb 15, 1987)

The Fort Langley Journals, 1827-30 (Pioneers of British Columbia) by Morag Maclachlan and Wayne Suttles

Katzie ethnographic notes, (Anthropology in British Columbia) by Wayne P Suttles (Unknown Binding - 1955)

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