I don't see how the many "wild man of the woods" beings in Amerindian myth can't be described as a form of Bigfoot, even if only sometimes they were giants. A lot of the modern Bigfoot myths originated on the West Coast too, so it's very possible that Bigfoot is in part inspired by these old myths.
The video actually covers your objections. Even the PNW examples always speak of human individuals living in the wilderness. No bigfoot in anything native.
 
What if the Aztecs didn't do large scale human sacrifice and antagonize all the other tribes to the point where they sided with the Spanish? Could they have avoided the Spanish Conquest?
 
Emergence of a Steppe Warlord culture and a Species like the Neanderthals (muscular, well built and warlike), animal herding based agriculture and a possible invention of wheels (which is relatively easy post these), could create an interesting culture in the Americas.
 
A concept I've been thinking about recently: Natives across the south east are well known to have produced and exported the yaupon holly for the creation of the black drink, a ceremonial caffeinated beverage. It was widely consumed, from Cahokia in the north to Mesoamerica in the south. Its uses were ritually bounded, it's caffeine content isn't the highest, and it came with unpleasant (though ritually instrumentalized) side effects.

The thought occurs to me that all three of these factors likewise apply to the initial cultivation of both tea and coffee: These beverages were initially used for ritual and medicinal purposes rather than as a recreational beverage, and they had to selectively breed them to increase caffeine content while lowering side effects. Coffee and tea were of course extremely important cash crops, and of course some even make the argument that their consumption had non-negligible on the societies that partook.

Perhaps I'm putting the cart before the horse, and there are certain social and economic conditions needed to cause the recreational consumption of such beverages, but I wonder about the intensification of production of yaupon holly, both increasing the quantity and selectively breeding to make it a more pleasant beverage. Perhaps the cause of this could be the expansion of the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex itself to the piedmont and the northeast, thereby creating new markets for the beverage.
IIRC the emetic effects were the point of the black drink ceremony, otherwise they would not have spiked the drink with emetic herbs. I think the two would need to be decoupled, and ironically Mesoamericans are probably good for that. Colonies of pochteca along the Gulf Coast (they may have visited on rare occasions, although their northernmost known limit was sailing to southern Texas) wouldn't have the full context and culture of the black drink ritual and reappropriate it as needed.
On a similar note to my Yaupon Holly thoughts - One big deal of a sustained contact between Easter Island and the Andes (or elsewhere on the Pacific Rim) could be sugar cane. Sugar cane was part of the Polynesian package, and there's plenty of places it grows well in the America. Sugar is of course a huge cash crop. Perhaps most notably, beyond the flavor it adds, it could be used to intensify pre-Columbian alcohol production among native societies. Natives did of course have some alcoholic beverages, mostly beers, wines and meads, but cane sugar would allow them to create refined spirits like rum. Huge commodity of course, with significant social and (potentially) medical/scientific impacts.
IIRC only Mesoamericans had distillation. In the Old World, consumption of distilled drinks doesn't seem to have been a thing until the 12th century. But if they did, I think the Mesoamericans would probably distill a corn beer or maybe pulque first, hence inventing tequila/mezcal.
The video actually covers your objections. Even the PNW examples always speak of human individuals living in the wilderness. No bigfoot in anything native.
They were not perceived as human individuals living in the wilderness, but dangerous supernatural beings who stole away children and raised them as their own, could turn adults into other "wild men" like them (i.e. Tlingit "land otters"/khutsda), and were worthy of being killed in hopes of gaining their power or simply self-defense (as they were in some cultures perceived as rival tribes of supernatural origin). Or from the Flathead people of western Montana, stories about giants who stood 10-15 feet high, wore no clothes but had fur like animals, were strong enough to throw people a distance of over a mile, but became extremely rare/extinct since Indians became so numerous the giants could no longer find enough food. Or the "wild woman of the woods" who is said to be a wealthy but cruel woman who is a hairy giantess who is strong enough to uproot trees. There are also stories of hairy dwarves in the forests too, some of whom are also evil, and whom always live in very remote places.

How is that not "Bigfoot?" Bigfoot is supposedly an ape-looking creature who often keeps to itself but sometimes interacts with humans. Some say it is dangerous and has threatened or attacked people like these mythological examples supposedly did. Some say Bigfoot is sentient and is an alien creature linked with UFOs. We know from history that working class whites and American Indians/First Nations worked together in the same industries such as lumber, canning, etc. and otherwise interacted in general. I don't see how it's implausible that Amerindian folklore inspired at least some of those beliefs in addition to traditional European views on races of wild men living deep in the woods.
 
I hate to brag about myself, but I am writing a timeline about the Tlingit inventing the outrigger canoe around 250 AD called -When The Tlingit Embraced the Seas- (you can go check it out) and I have to ask- was there any hostile relations between the Aleutians and the Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest? I want to make so the Native Americans, with their enhanced searfaring technology, eventually contact and start trading with Asia.
 
I hate to brag about myself, but I am writing a timeline about the Tlingit inventing the outrigger canoe around 250 AD called -When The Tlingit Embraced the Seas- (you can go check it out) and I have to ask- was there any hostile relations between the Aleutians and the Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest? I want to make so the Native Americans, with their enhanced searfaring technology, eventually contact and start trading with Asia.
The Tlingit seemed to view them as dirty, and occasionally did have clashes with the Alutiiq (who were culturally similar). But they also traded with them too sometimes, especially for ivory. IIRC archaeologically they possibly drove them out at one point around 1,000-1,500 years ago. Their term for all Inuit-related groups (although precontact they only knew the Alutiiqs and Yupiks) roughly translates to "bone in the nose" (because of a particular piercing) and is about as derogatory as that term is in English.

BTW, if you aren't aware, the Smithsonian has freely available what is the most complete and reliable ethnography on the Tlingit.
 
We continue this general discussion thread with the following documentary video...


Once again, something that looks at the modern day, cherry-picked claims of non-Native Americans about there supposedly being "ancient proof by Native Americans" for someone's pet theory. Pet theories that unscientifically and insensitively dismiss the actual content of particular Native American cultures' oral histories and their context. This time, it's bigfoot enthusiasts (audible groan), abusing Native American cultures for their wild claims, including straight up distorting the cultural context of the cultures they claim "offer proof".

As you'd expect, there's no actual substance to the claims and many had been cherry-picked and confirmation-biased up the wazoo. NO Native American cultures, whatsoever, knew or believed in yeti apemen from the fevered imaginations of post-WWII euro-Americans. None. Even the term 'sasquatch' is made up, or mangled from a different native word, which had a meaning more akin to "hermit living in the wild", "loner mountain man", that sort of thing. In short, the notion that Native American cultures of any kind knew about bigfoot / sasquatch is complete and utter ahistorical bull.

Trey's done some very detailed research into all these claims and compared them to what the actual cultural context or historical context was and is. Well worth the watch. There's a lot of pseudoarchaeological and pseudohistorical claims surrounding just about any Native American cultures, all under the cynical motivation to make something appear acceptable by lying that "it is ancient, the natives knew it", even though that's not how things actually were.
Man, Trey the Explainer's videos are so good. I hadn't considered that the "Sasquatches" might have been an Ishi type situation, with a band of unassimilated Natives-possibly having run into the wilderness to escape a massacre decades ago-just living off the grid near a reservation. A great, but tragic, story if so.

Of course, I also have my suspicions that the Chehalis people being too slow-witted and good natured to just spin tall tales for outsiders might not be exactly true either, so who knows.
 
I hate to brag about myself, but I am writing a timeline about the Tlingit inventing the outrigger canoe around 250 AD called -When The Tlingit Embraced the Seas- (you can go check it out) and I have to ask- was there any hostile relations between the Aleutians and the Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest? I want to make so the Native Americans, with their enhanced searfaring technology, eventually contact and start trading with Asia.
I look forward to reading it!
 
The video actually covers your objections. Even the PNW examples always speak of human individuals living in the wilderness. No bigfoot in anything native.
Obviously I agree with Trey's overall point; there is nothing in extant American Indian folklore that seems to suggest empirical knowledge of some extraordinary ape creature. There's just a bunch of different stories about all sorts of human or humanoid creatures as we find in literally every single culture in the world, regardless of contact with any non-human humanoid species.

But Trey does have a tendency to overstate his cases across videos, and I think he does in this video as well (even if he's correct), and that shows through the most in the section on "Wild Indians". Beyond specific cases (and there are no doubt many where these are to be taken as none other than human beings), Trey uses the fact that "Wild Men", "Wild Indians", or "Stick Indians" are called 'men' or 'humans' to categorically rule out the possibility that they were meant to be anything other than normal human beings of uncouth manner.

Well the issue with this categorical ruling is that for the cultures that did, as a matter of fact, have contact with humanoid apes, it was not uncommon at all to call them "men" or "wild men". "Orangutan", of course, literally means "Forest Man." The "Gorillai" of Hanno the Navigator (probably actually chimpanzees) were described as a tribe of savage people, not as animals. Both of these in areas where monkeys were common and well known, and yet a comparison was still drawn between men and human. The sasquatch, if it did exist, would be by far the most human-like non-human since the extinction of Neanderthal Man, in an environment without any monkeys which would be the next-closest comparison. Calling such a creature a "wild man" would be the most natural thing in the world.

Again, I obviously agree with the overall point of the video, and I even agree with this specific subsection, but the fact that wild men are men is not an a priori disproof of a comparison with the Bigfoot.
 
This thread has always fascinated me. What if the Inca (Or some other people before) domesticated the Andean Bear. My curiosity was increased significantly once I began reading PeterEzgo's The Good Berry. It really got my mind thinking about what a bear dominated Andean culture would be like. Plus, war bears are always a fun idea.

I feel like society would revolve around bears, since they can be used for meat (Maybe even milk?), as a beast of burden (especially useful for mountain cities), and pest control. In some rough drafts of a timeline I'm writing around this idea, I had cities form around people who had access to the bears, especially since the Andean Bears don't reproduce nearly as fast as animals like cows, so they wouldn't come cheap. From these cities centered around one person comes kings, and then emperors, and so on.
 
This thread has always fascinated me. What if the Inca (Or some other people before) domesticated the Andean Bear. My curiosity was increased significantly once I began reading PeterEzgo's The Good Berry. It really got my mind thinking about what a bear dominated Andean culture would be like. Plus, war bears are always a fun idea.

I feel like society would revolve around bears, since they can be used for meat (Maybe even milk?), as a beast of burden (especially useful for mountain cities), and pest control. In some rough drafts of a timeline I'm writing around this idea, I had cities form around people who had access to the bears, especially since the Andean Bears don't reproduce nearly as fast as animals like cows, so they wouldn't come cheap. From these cities centered around one person comes kings, and then emperors, and so on.
Tame or domesticated, I'm not sure I like the idea of ever of getting down to milk a bear... or any other carnivore for that matter.

I assume you're already familiar, but I'd recommend reading over DValdron's "Bear Cavalry" to see the prospects of bear domestication.
 
This thread has always fascinated me. What if the Inca (Or some other people before) domesticated the Andean Bear. My curiosity was increased significantly once I began reading PeterEzgo's The Good Berry. It really got my mind thinking about what a bear dominated Andean culture would be like. Plus, war bears are always a fun idea.

I feel like society would revolve around bears, since they can be used for meat (Maybe even milk?), as a beast of burden (especially useful for mountain cities), and pest control. In some rough drafts of a timeline I'm writing around this idea, I had cities form around people who had access to the bears, especially since the Andean Bears don't reproduce nearly as fast as animals like cows, so they wouldn't come cheap. From these cities centered around one person comes kings, and then emperors, and so on.
They'd be closer to pigs than anything since their diet is omnivorous and turning them loose in a forest would let them gain their diet. Although it seems like they enjoy eating maize (the entire plant even), so they'd be as easy to feed as a pig rather than something like a moose which only eats certain stems and such. Successful elites who own them could probably slaughter bears for feasts as a means of social control and distribute goods made from the bear like its pelt, paws, teeth, claws, etc. to subordinate rulers of nearby villages.

Speaking of which, I find it interesting that black bears were never domesticated since it too is fairly small, not particularly dangerous (compared to most bears), and is an omnivore mostly content to eat whatever plants it finds and occasionally snack on a small animal. They're infamously attracted to human garbage dumps, which is a pathway to domestication, and will gladly munch on rats, rabbits, and other pests.
 
Speaking of which, I find it interesting that black bears were never domesticated since it too is fairly small, not particularly dangerous (compared to most bears), and is an omnivore mostly content to eat whatever plants it finds and occasionally snack on a small animal. They're infamously attracted to human garbage dumps, which is a pathway to domestication, and will gladly munch on rats, rabbits, and other pests.
I'd guess that the main impediment was that they're largely solitary, not especially social animals. That's bad enough for the prospects of domesticating an herbivore, but would make things very difficult indeed for a large dangerous omnivore. The two large dangerous omnivores we've domesticated, pigs and dogs, are extremely social animals. I wouldn't say that that makes it impossible for humans to domesticate bears, but it's a very large hurdle to overcome.
 
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