Giants, Cannibals & Monsters for Christmas

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on December 13th, 2008

With the holidays coming, I thought it would be a good time to do a review of a book you may want under your tree – “Giants, Cannibals & Monsters: Bigfoot in Native Culture” by Kathy Moskowitz Strain. The book contains over 150 traditional bigfoot (or bigfoot-like) stories from 55 tribes throughout North America – laying out a case that Native Americans had knowledge of this animal prior to our arrival. As compelling as the stories are, you are simply drawn in by the absolutely stunning way the book is laid out. Nearly every page of the book contains beautiful historic photographs of native people doing everyday activities, conducting ceremonies, dancing, or just posing for stunning portraits. All of the 357 photographs, like the stories themselves, are from the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s.

The stories are arranged by region, and all of North America (but not every state) is represented. Unlike many books where only small pieces of the legends are quoted, Kathy presents the stories in their entirety from the original source with little comment (except to clarify a native word here and there). Kathy mentions that she did this so the reader could make up their own mind on the content of the story.

A common story from many tribes is about a bigfoot with a basket on its back that steals kids to eat them (I’m glad no modern sighting report mentions baskets). If bigfoot isn’t real, it would seem odd for so many tribes to describe the same thing. Several of the stories talk about physical locations that were created by or are the remains of bigfoot (such as Redding Rock and Columbia rocks in California). Kathy recently spoke about this topic at the 2008 Annual Texas Bigfoot Conference in Jefferson, Texas and the Bigfoot Discovery Day II in Felton, California.

Overall, Kathy’s book is a nice collection of traditional native stories about bigfoot. You can find the book at Hancock House or at

About Craig Woolheater
Co-founder of Cryptomundo in 2005. I have appeared in or contributed to the following TV programs, documentaries and films: OLN's Mysterious Encounters: "Caddo Critter", Southern Fried Bigfoot, Travel Channel's Weird Travels: "Bigfoot", History Channel's MonsterQuest: "Swamp Stalker", The Wild Man of the Navidad, Destination America's Monsters and Mysteries in America: Texas Terror - Lake Worth Monster, Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot: Return to Boggy Creek and Beast of the Bayou.

2 Responses to “Giants, Cannibals & Monsters for Christmas”

  1. Chaz Kader responds:

    This is an overdue entry into the subject research. The oral tradition of the First Nations reveals that North American apes were understood and acknowledged as physical beings who were often seen prior to significant events taking place.

    Even today, as a Person of the Flint (Ganienkiehaka aka Mohawk), I have had the opportunity to speak with our reservation elders on the subject and some claim that the reason that Bigfoot is not seen with any regularity is that they do not wish to be seen at this time. Whether that implies the inter-dimensional nature of this animal, or just a learned avoidance behavior, it is thought-provoking.

    Several reliable witness encounters have been made in the past few years on Akwesasne Mohawk Territory, located on the 45th Parallel, with this animal.

    Similar lines of belief exist within our culture on the subject of a large snake which lives in the St. Lawrence River, which runs through our international community. The oral tradition differentiates between the cautionary grandmother tales and the actual sightings which have been retold for younger generations.

    A group of Native American / First Nation investigators within the spectrum of cryptozoology / Fortean research would be a unique addition to the current lineup of MonsterQuest and Destination Truth programming.

    The issue of the fabled Tribal Police video in Washington which was apparently destroyed as it clearly showed Bigfoot at a Tribal monitored area is worthy of one episode. My brothers and sisters of the Blackfeet / Pikuni in Montana also have their own stories to tell of recent Bigfoot sightings in their area known as the Backbone of the World (Rocky Mountains), albeit with a Biscardi appearance in follow-up at one point.

    More research needs to be done, but this book will be going into my collection.

    The very naming of Ape Canyon, in reference to the miners incident involving Fred Beck which took place in 1924 on Mount St. Helens, adds credibility to the overlapping layers of pre-recorded history and historical record that we are confronted with today. To dismiss such connections is without a doubt the soft underbelly of skeptical inquiry that waters down the capacity of human beings to remain open to the unknown, which perhaps may have kept our ancestors alive at one point in time.

    – Chaz Kader
    Akwesasne Mohawk Territory

  2. Ole Bub responds:

    Agreed Chaz…

    Native American folklore is replete with stories of interaction and encounters…both hostile and cooperative with the “ancient peoples”. Ignoring the rich oral tradition and folklore of First Nations is the height of arrogance in my humble opinion.

    Much Obliged…to Kathy for her splendid work…JMHO

    live and let live…

    ole bub and the dawgs

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