Bigfoot Braids?

Posted by: Loren Coleman on December 18th, 2009

Update: I wrote and posted the original “Bigfoot Braids” column on May 20, 2008. Today, December 18, 2009, Ms. Shiel got in touch with me to inform me of some important credit info that I mentioned in that piece:

I recently came across one of your blog entries from last year about mane braiding. The photo you describe as “one that shows up uncredited all over the place” is in fact my photo (it’s on pg. 120 of Backyard Bigfoot) which some people have decided to steal. I’d appreciate it if you could update your entry to include the following credit line with a hot link to my website:

Photo by Lisa A. Shiel,, taken from the book Backyard Bigfoot.

Thank you, and Merry Christmas!


Original comments from 2008 have been retained, in case people wish to talk about this topic again. Ms. Shiel’s links are herewith embedded above. 🙂

+++++++++++++++++++++original posting+++++++++++++++++++


I see that none of these guys have braids. I know their identities. Do you?* And which one thinks Bigfoot wears braids?

By specific definition, to “braid” is “to interweave three or more strands, strips, or lengths of,” for example, hair or grasses, “in a diagonally overlapping pattern.”

But do Sasquatch and Bigfoot engage in braiding each other’s and other animals’ hair?


This is not a photograph of a young woman whose hair was braided by a Bigfoot.

With the recent discussions of whether or not the Patterson-Gimlin-filmed Sasquatch, nicknamed “Patty,” has braids, perhaps it is time for a pause to ponder braids and Bigfoot. It might be worth an enjoyable minute or two here.


First there is the theory promoted by Robin Bellamy and Lisa A. Shiel that some horse hair braids are Bigfoot playing with the ponies. Perhaps, perhaps not, but Shiel’s book, Backyard Bigfoot deals with her thoughts, and is there for all to digest. Lisa knows I disagree with her mixing of UFOs and the hairy ones, so exploring that avenue any further is up to you. Been there, done that.


There are even photos floating around the internet supposedly showing horse mane braids said to be placed there by Sasquatch. I won’t share one of Shiel’s because she wishes to retain the copyright postings of hers, but here’s one that shows up uncredited all over the place. (Send me info if you know anything about who took it so I may properly credit it.)

horse b

Of course, among those other hominoids, Homo sapiens who mostly tend to have only hair long enough to braid on their heads, there are, indeed, some famous braiders.

Let’s take a look:


A big man in my book, but certainly not a Bigfoot.


Some braids hardly give us any insights into cryptozoology.



Some are even a perfect 10, we are told.


While others are definitely First Nations in origin, thank goodness.


However, bottomline, what kind of braid does M. K. Davis see within the Bigfoot film?
*Answer to the identification quiz of the day, from left to right – Don Keating, Ohio Bigfoot group director and host of the Ohio Bigfoot conference; Jeff Meldrum, professor and Sasquatch book author; M. K. Davis, Bigfoot film analyst; and Eric Altman, Pennsylvania Bigfoot group director.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

31 Responses to “Bigfoot Braids?”

  1. sschaper responds:

    Maybe he meant pigtail. He has used imprecise language in the past, with the ‘digger indian’ and ‘caucasoid’ and ‘human’ comments. I think we are talking a pigtail, in the center on top of the back of the head. And do the side images of the head show the same thing, or is it a trick of the light and really a sagital crest?

  2. graybear responds:

    I don’t believe in the braids, topknot or the bangs on Patty. For one thing, I just don’t see them. However, I will gladly admit that there are others whose eyesight and expertise in seeing details in blurry images is far superior to mine.
    But the braids at least have implications far beyond the (so far as we know) singularly human desire for self-adornment.
    If the Sasquatch can braid hair, then there are many, many plants in the forests which can be used to braid into cordage. If the sas can braid, then they have access to ropes and twine. This assumed technology implies artificial shelters (even dogs and wolves will get in out of the rain when possible), because tying up branches into a crude tent would be only natural. It also implies ropes used for carrying along anything which the sas might find useful in their lives. Also, braiding is not that far from weaving.
    Nothing exists in a vacuum; all technology is connected. If the sas braid hair, then they should be leaving non-human artifacts all over the place in the form of abandoned shelters, fish traps, discarded ropes or twines, cast off bracelets, maybe even David slings, etc. And there is no sign of any of these things. In fact, there is no indication that the sas have any sort of material culture at all.
    So I don’t believe that the hair ornamentations recently reported on Patty are anything but artifacts created by the enhancement process. But I wouldn’t mind being proven wrong.

  3. Ceroill responds:

    Of course in Olden Tymes the braiding or plaiting of horse mains and tails was blamed on various pixies, sprites, and other diminutive fairy type folks. No, I’m not making any claims about Sas being a fairy creature, just noticing the parallel. Of course, it’s also possible that sasquatch is one of various things that may have inspired those ancient tales.

  4. Briar_rabitt responds:

    Am I just Blind? Heronimus,Heronimus,Heronimus Glass eye. enough said

  5. size 13 responds:

    MK Davis,I would take this with a grain of salt.Squatches are animals. If they could weave , then we would see fishing nets and different housing structures by these ANIMALS.Human ,they are not and it would take a human to weave.
    It is this researchers humble opinion that Mr. Davis just wants to prolong his 15 Minuites of fame or flame.Want to know about Squatches, then get out in the field and get to know those that do.
    Squatches are large primates,they are cunning and very intelligent but human thay are not. Funny no one else sees a braid or bangs at that.What Mr. Davis sees are PIXELS.

  6. Artist responds:

    GRAYBEAR: “If the sas braid hair, then they should be leaving non-human artifacts all over the place in the form of abandoned shelters, fish traps, discarded ropes or twines, cast off bracelets, maybe even…slings, etc. ”

    Point well made – Sasquatch either: 1) has no use for those items, hence their absence, or…
    2) “knows better” than to create “evidence of presence”, since it would require storing such items in discoverable hides, and transporting them from place to place during seasonal migrations.

    Altho there are reports of grass-lined nests and other hideouts, some with chewed animal bones stored in nooks, I know of no reports of tools or ornamentation left behind, or a Sas sporting a backpack or travois.

    Perhaps Lisa’s horses’ subtly-interwoven mane hair could be a private, personal “hello” to her from her local Sas, a quiet signal to her alone that he is nearby but hiding, or a “thank you” for the food she leaves there?

    But questions nag me: 1) Why didn’t Lisa’s horses alarm during the encounters, as most livestock reportedly do, dashing around wild-eyed, tearing down fences etc any time a Sas is nearby?
    2) Why is M.K. trying so hard to create anthropomorphic evidence from whole cloth (or hair, as the case may be)? What’s next from him – sandals?

  7. mrbf2006 responds:

    Well, it is not just M.K.’s hypothesis that there is a braid there-the braid IS there. It just takes breaking away from the old ideas, the old concepts of what Bigfoot and Patty are to really see what is truly going on, as I have learned this past week. I would encourage everyone to look at M.K.’s work with an open mind and not be so quick to jump to conclusions or bash the man. As far as I am concerned, he is right on the money.

  8. MattBille responds:

    mrbf2006 wrote:
    May 20th, 2008 at 12:08 pm
    “Well, it is not just M.K.’s hypothesis that there is a braid there-the braid IS there.”

    I’m sorry, but I can’t see it. It’s not visible in that book of highly enhanced photos (sorry, my brain is blocking this morning) that came out a year or so back.

    Sanderson, in commenting on the Albert Ostman story, which included simple weaving, argued that weaving is not a big step beyond the tying of simple knots. Either is well within an ape’s dexterity, but I’m not sure if this behavior has ever been documented in a known species. Anyone know? Gerald Durrell had a captive chimp who figured out how to unweave a chain link fence, but that’s easier than creating the weave in the first place.

  9. John L. Johnsen responds:

    I find it amusing that all of you, probably to a person, have not seen the DVD in which this is revealed.

    Pixels? Naaaaa.

  10. calmly.crashing responds:

    I have horses myself and see this sort of braiding all of the time. I’m not sure if these horses have been pastured with others but if that’s the case, then the horses are simply braiding one another’s manes. It sounds silly at first but they do it as a part of their mutual grooming of one another. Horses will pair up with one another and groom each others’ backs by rubbing their lips firmly across the other’s fur/manes. They rub the manes in such a way that they appear braided or wrapped. It’s EXTREMELY frustrating, lol! You can really only unravel the “braids” if you have either a can of WD-40 or a pair of scissors! No fun to take care of just before a show!

    I found the braids unusual when I first saw them several years ago, but once I saw this mutual grooming behavior and talked to other horse-owners, they all said the same thing. Haha, and any horse I know – should she see a Sas, would most certainly run, frightened and wild-eyed.

    What a fanciful thought though – Giant unknown hominids bonding with our livestock at night, braiding favors into their manes..

  11. eireman responds:

    Ultimately the argument is moot. The P-G film gets tossed around like a game of ‘hot-potato’ where no one ever wins. That footage can – and will – be analyzed until the cows come home and nothing will come of it. It will prove nothing. Perhaps it is simply time to move on from it and focus energies toward finding a specimen, nothing less will satisfy the scientific community.

  12. sschaper responds:

    What we -need- is some outfit like Monsterquest or the Jane Goodall foundation to sponser some genuine researchers to spend a couple of seasons in a hot spot for sightings, and go about this in a scientific way, rather than chasing sightings (though that isn’t a -bad- thing to do)

  13. Igor Bourtsev responds:

    I have studied the problem of “wild men” for 43 years, and since 1971 have studied the Patterson film of bigfoot. And I cannot say anything about the braids on Patty’s head but surely can say thast bigfoots make the braids in horses’ manes.
    At first time I saw such braides in Azerbaijan (South Caucasus) in 1970, after that I studied this phenomenon there for five seasons.
    And not long ago – in 2004 – I received the info about such braids in manes from the U.S.A. with many photographs of them! After we with Bayanov recommended to the owner of that braided female horse to put colour bands/ribbons to the mane.
    And bigfoots started to braid those ribbons into manes!!!
    A kind of play of BFs with the owner of the horse…
    I have no doubt that BFs can braid hair…

  14. shumway10973 responds:

    Sorry if this has been mentioned already, but the braided “hair” on the horses mane does look lighter than the mane. Has anyone taken some of it to be tested for DNA? Could Sasquatch have braided its own hair in with the horse’s? So what if this particular Bigfoot knows how to braid. It doesn’t mean that all do too.

  15. DWA responds:

    Well, there has been considerable speculation – assisted by considerable evidence, including ostensible handprints and direct observation – into the nature of the sasquatch hand.

    And a sasquatch would, that speculation concludes, be not much more capable of braiding with its speculated hands than a gorilla or a chimpanzee. BTW, the speculation that has been done is just as firmly grounded in evidence as any speculation that has been done on dinosaurs – which, unlike the sasquatch, no human has ever seen.

    One problem I find with a lot of proponent speculation is that it is totally unmoored from the evidence. Just about everything one would expect to see a bigfoot doing has been reported. And no one has any reports of one – OK, two – doing this.

    Cryptozoology will make its first breakthrough into hard science when all speculation is firmly grounded in evidence.

    Just saying.

  16. jalemangt responds:

    Hi Loren, I´m from Guatemala and this is my first post.
    I have heard a lot of second hand stories about braids on horses from rural areas in Guatemala, and the maya peasants say that they are made by the “duende” or “sombreron” (kind of like fairies), or sometimes even by the “sismite”, which is the central american version of the Sasquatch.


  17. cryptidsrus responds:

    Personally I believe that Ole Hairies can and do braid horses’s manes, but not that there are braids on Patty. I tend to go with MattBille on this one. Sorry, I guess I must be blind too. To reiterate, though, I PERSONALLY believe that Bigfoot do do this as a form of interaction and affection for horses. I base this on Lisa Shiel’s evidence presented in her book and on other cases I have studied.

    That is a subjective interpretation, I know. Nobody has to agree with it necessarily.

    I happen to agree with you. You made a very on-target comment. While I SUBJECTIVELY believe that Bigfeet do this (and have satified my questions about it to MY satisfaction) I totally understand that that is NOT evidence that MOST Crypto people and otherwise would objectively accept. If they do, Great. If not, totally understandable.

    And I also agree that Cryptozoology will not be totally accepted as a serious discipline by the Mainstream Everybodies until “speculation is firmly grounded in evidence,” as you put it.

    My intuition and beliefs may be great (and correct), but they don’t matter diddly without hard evidence.
    So five stars for you, Sir, and a Big Thumbs-up for what you said.
    Coincidentally, this collates with me rereading Francis Bacon’s Essays, which touch on a lot of what you are saying.
    He would agree with you. 🙂

  18. Crow Me A River responds:

    Anyone who has ever been around horses beyond a “look-but-don’t-touch” capacity bears witness to these “pixie braids” all the time.

  19. tropicalwolf responds:

    I swear I tried to finish reading this post but could only make it so far…then I got to the STILL perfect 10 picture. My daydreaming got the better of me.

  20. mystery_man responds:

    Loren, your pictorial commentary on braids made me laugh so much, I spit out my coffee. 🙂

    DWA pretty much summed up my stance on this perfectly, but I’ll add some things.

    Do Bigfoot braid hair? I don’t know. Is it possible? Well, anything is possible but what I want to know is what is really going on. The way for us to know that is through the proper evaluation of the evidence available.

    For instance, with the horse braids. I’m sorry to say that from the standpoint of the evidence seen so far, I find it highly questionable to attribute this phenomenon to Bigfoot considering what we have to work with.

    Now I don’t know about the statistics of the occurrence of horse braids, but if they were the work of Bigfoot, then we would expect to see them only in places where Bigfoot are said to be. Is that the case? Are there no cases of horse braids in places around North America or indeed the world where there is no reason to suppose Bigfoot is present? If you have this going on in these locations, that is pretty damning to the “Bigfoot braids horse hair” hypothesis.

    If you say that horse braids are the work of Bigfoot, then you are therefore saying that Bigfoot exists everywhere horse braids are found. Is this a really sound supposition considering what we have? I think not.

    There are lots of questions to ask oneself here. Among them, have people seen Bigfoot doing this consistently? Are there only horse braids where Bigfoot are? Is there anything that supports that is the case and that it is not humans doing this or that it is the result of oddly matted hair or some other explanation?

    In short, why do these horse braids have to be the work of Bigfoot? Without the information to lead to a certain conclusion, why not just say that aliens did it, or faeries? I don’t know if it is Bigfoot behind this, but I’d propose that advocates of this hypothesis don’t either, and they lack the evidence to make the conclusion.

    Speculation is good, but let’s work with the evidence. Braids on a horse is not evidence of Bigfoot. That has not been satisfactorily demonstrated to me. It could be a lot of things, for instance what calmly.crashing said in his/her comment above. These sorts of possibilities need to be investigated before saying this is the work of Bigfoot, or stating that it is any one reason in particular for that matter.

    To be honest, without doing this, well, it just makes cryptozoology look kooky. I’m trying to treat this field as a legitimate science here.

    As far as the MK Davis hypothesis, well all I can say that if Bigfoot does indeed braid hair, I don’t see any evidence of it in the PG footage.

    Ceroill- That’s an interesting connection. I would suggest in response that this is an example of different eras or cultural tapestries influencing how people perceive and explain phenomena for which they do not have an answer. So rather than saying that Bigfoot is related to faeries, I would say that it merely illustrates that some people are going to see it as faeries, some as Bigfoot, others as aliens or ghosts, and so on. In Japan they might see it as the work of Kappa or mischievous spirit. It depends on the era, folklore, and the cultural conventions of the area.

    Are all of these valid explanations? Of course not. That is why I think evidence is important, so we can cut away these biases and come to the real answer.

  21. Craig Woolheater responds:

    Why Bigfoot? Through the years, witches, fairies and pixies have all been blamed for braiding horses’ manes.

    …the knots that occur in the manes of horses and are called ‘hag knots.’ These knots reputedly act as stirrups for witches and fairies as they ride the horses at night.House Shadow Drake

    boing boing even referenced the horse-mane braid mystery on December 7, 2009.

    Magickal horse-mane braid mystery solved by Dorset warlock

  22. korollocke responds:

    Not to offend but that looks awfully phoney blown up like that. The middle area in the body where the waist of the suit and the legs join and the light area where the arm extensions are show very plain, very bad face paint as well. If its real its a mangy beast.

  23. cryptogirl responds:

    I don’t see much braid-like in the Patty footage, but I wouldn’t dismiss it out of hand. The “stick people” of Northwest tribal legend seem cunning enough to pull it off. As observed above, braiding implies weaving technology, so conceivably this might account for some of the old reports/legends of Sasquatch with baskets.

    Human-like intelligence could also help explain their elusiveness.

  24. arewethereyeti responds:

    DWA wrote, “And a sasquatch would, that speculation concludes, be not much more capable of braiding with its speculated hands than a gorilla or a chimpanzee.”

    While I suppose I am just confirming DWA’s points regarding speculation (with which, incidentally, I agree), I would like to point out that gorilla and chimp hands are specialized to facilitate their habitual quadrupedal gait, i.e. “knuckle-walking.” If sasquatch is primarily bipedal, however, I see no reason to conclude that their hands would be any less dexterous than our own.

    Of course, whether or not they use those hands to braid anything has yet to be determined.

  25. subrosa responds:

    Not many horses are going to stand still for a top-of-the-line predator to braid their hair! Sorry to interject common sense into this discussion. Next we will see evidence of grooming by a big cat.

  26. Alton Higgins responds:

    In my opinion, ALL of the speculation regarding the possibility that sasquatches braid hair, equine or otherwise, is completely absurd.

  27. DNS responds:

    If you start with a single frame from a 16mm movie film, take a creature from the center that’s something like a few millimeters tall, and blow it up till the beast is a couple of meters tall, I think you could find Jimmy Hoffa, Amelia Earhart, Carmen San Diego and Waldo in there if you wanted to. Braids? You have got to be joking!

  28. DWA responds:

    DNS/Alton Higgins: um, yepper there.

    Subrosa: TOTALLY!

    Arewethereyeti: You say that “I would like to point out that gorilla and chimp hands are specialized to facilitate their habitual quadrupedal gait, i.e. “knuckle-walking.” If sasquatch is primarily bipedal, however, I see no reason to conclude that their hands would be any less dexterous than our own.”

    When I talk about the speculation that has been done on the sasquatch hand, I’m talking about the theorized structure of the hand, from actual (OK, they are but putative until the animal is proven, but still) handprints. Experts can deduce a lot from those; and their deduction is that the sasquatch hand is indeed less dextrous than ours.

    I should add that numerous reports depict the sasquatch as possibly a more dextrous knuckle-walker ….er, runner than either the chimp or the gorilla. At least it appears to be their equal. That is, if the reports are real; and there is no reason to conclude they aren’t.

  29. arewethereyeti responds:


    Felt your initial statement fell a little too heavy on the “less dexterous” side of the continuum – just wanted to yank your chain a little bit 🙂 in the hope you’d expound…

    I appreciate your response – well reasoned and well stated.

  30. eaglejm responds:

    I grew up on a horse farm in Kansas where there are no Bigfoot. Horse hair becomes tangled on its own; that picture is just tangled hair. Any hair becomes like that if you don’t take care of it. This is absurd.

  31. DWA responds:

    I will add to eaglejm’s comments that anyone who has coiled rope knows that, between the time that rope is coiled and the time it is used again, practically every knot known to man has a good chance of appearing in that rope. All by its lonesome. Climbers call it “rope salad.” It’s what rope does, not Bigfoot.

    And the BFRO lists 26 sighting reports from KS, some as compelling as anything you’ll read. Here’s one.

    Just sayin’.

Sorry. Comments have been closed.

|Top | Content|

Connect with Cryptomundo

Cryptomundo FaceBook Cryptomundo Twitter Cryptomundo Instagram Cryptomundo Pinterest


Creatureplica Fouke Monster Sybilla Irwin


|Top | FarBar|

Attention: This is the end of the usable page!
The images below are preloaded standbys only.
This is helpful to those with slower Internet connections.