CALIFORNIA NATIVE AMERICAN LEGENDS
Modoc County, Alturas, California article, 1989
"...Bigfoot was spotted on an Indian reservation this week. Kenneth Sam claimed he spotted a hairy giant man-like creature roaming outside a house he was guarding on the Paiute Indian Reservation.
"Sam's cousin, Neasha Comanche said she found small footprints last week of what she believes is a young bigfoot on the reservation near the California-Oregon border. A dispatcher at the Modoc County Sheriff's Dept. said the Sheriff called a bigfoot expert at the Crypto-zoology Museum in Malibu to investigate the sightings. Erik Beckjord, asked the Sheriff to have his deputies carry cameras and material to make plaster casts of footprints to document the sightings, said Molly Squire, assistant curator at the museum.
"Sam said the bigfoot was 8-feet tall and was walking on two feet. He shined a flashlight on the creature from 40 yards away, it first ran toward him and then fled. "It was big, dark and hairy-looking," he said, "Its got silver eyes and it moves pretty fast. Its a lot bigger than a football player. Its got quite a reach. It seems like it just glides. I thought an antelope is fast, but this guy is pretty fast. It seems like it's curious."...
"While Sam does not believe the creature is dangerous, he has lit fires outside the house for several nights. "It seems to be scared of fire. It doesn't come down when the fire is burning," he said.
"Sam's cousin, Neasha Comanche, said she found clearly defined footprints of what she believes is a baby bigfoot that walked through a mud puddle outside her home. The prints are "almost human, but they're not because of the fur on their foot."
Source: UPI release, dateline Alturas, California, June 23, 1989
Interesting Excerpt, - Source:
Bancroft's History of California Indians, c. 1880:
"...From a letter just received from Judge Roseborough...concerning certain tribes...of the northwest portion of Upper California. Among the tribes in the neighborhood of Trinity River [Northern California] is found a legend relating to a certain Wappeckquemaw who is a giant, and apparently the father and leader of a pre-human race like himself. He was expelled from the country near the mouth of the Klamath...for disobeying some great god. On the expulsion of these Anakim...the people to whom this legend belongs came down from the Northwest. These new settlers quarreled with the great god and were abandoned by him, being given over into the hands of certain evil powers or devils. Of these the first is Omaha, who, possessing the shape of a grizzly bear is invisible and goes about everywhere bringing sickness and misfortune on mankind..."The following article is from the casebook of Peter Guttilla's Special Edition Bigfoot File (1995, Peter Guttilla). Sources: The Indians of Los Angeles County, by Hugo Reid, 1926; and Chinigchinich, by Fray Geronimo Boscana, 1933; California's Gabrielino Indians, interviews by John Peabody Harrington, Bernice. E. Johnston, 1964.
Southern California Indians known generally as the Gabrielino - Shoshonean linguistic stock - occupied lands and maintained fairly large settlements along the Santa Ana River from its headwaters in the mountains north of San Bernardino to the Pacific Ocean. According to records kept by Spanish priests in the 1770s and later verified by historians Reid and Harrington, an area east of Chino and along the Santa Ana River was known to the Indians as Rancho of the Devil. Apparently a sizable stretch of the river between Riverside and Chino was the domain of Towis or Takwis, a giant hairy manlike beast. Though the exact location was unspecified in the record, a place on the south banks of the river was called Towis Puki, or Camp of the Devil. This "devil" was said to leave a stench and roam about at night.
North of Chino, California between the cities of Pomona, La Verne and parts of Claremont was a place called Toybipet, or Devil Woman Who Was There. The Devil Woman was said to be very tall with large feet and hands, long toenails and fingernails and "...as fast as a deer." In the early 1900s old Gabrielino Indians told Harrington that white hunters "very long ago" had trapped the Devil Woman, but later freed her. The capture ostensibly took place in the 1820s. Among the Gabrielinos of southern Riverside County the giant Takwis lived in a cave on Lily Peak west of Palm Springs. Nearby Tahquits Peak got its name from Takwis. The southern version of Takwis was widely associated with bright flashes of light and flying balls of light. A major landmark, Mount San Jacinto, was also considered the home of Takwis.
Source: Indian Legends and Songs, by Guy Chaffee Earl, 1980. The setting is in the Owens Valley near Independence, California, in the middle 1800s.
"...large human tracks were seen one morning in some moist earth near the mill at San Carlos, the bare feet being distinctly impressed therein. Measurement showed the foot to be eighteen inches long, with a breadth at the toes of six, the stride being about six feet and apparently made while walking and not running. After an interval of a few days the tracks one morning again were seen, and after a like interval the remarkable impressions were made for a third time. At the same time the footprints were repeatedly seen at Bend City and at Chrysopolis. There was no one, white, black, yellow or red known to have a foot anywhere near so big. Indians when shown the footprints and asked if they knew who made them, wisely shrugged their shoulders and said, 'Heap no see, call him Bigfoot,' and with a wave of the hand toward the Inyo range said, 'He live there.' They acted in a strange and awed manner. The mystery was never solved and was the cause of much theorizing and speculation. I often wondered about the matter, never arriving at any solution, but the incidents afforded boundless field for guessing... Certain it is, there was abundant material for legend...."
Copyright and permission to reprint granted by Peter Guttilla, April 26, 1995
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