Native North American Mythologies

Native American Hero Myths

What is an example of an Native American Monster Slayer myth?

Some Blackfoot tribe members tell the story of a young man named Kutoyis, who was miraculously conceived. It seems that an old man and his wife were at the mercy of a wicked son-in-law who had plenty to eat but gave the old people only scraps. One day he gave them an ugly clot of buffalo blood, which they placed in a pot to make soup. Suddenly they heard a child’s cry, and when they took the top off the pot they found a baby boy there and immediately named it Kutoyis (“Blood-Clot”). Realizing that the wicked son-in-law would kill the boy as a future enemy if he found out about the child, , they disguised him as a girl. But it took only four days for Kutoyis to become a man, and immediately he killed the son-in-law. Now clearly marked by his birth and quick growth as a true hero, he did what heroes everywhere do: he went off on a quest to find and destroy the monsters that were oppressing the people. Finding the worst monster of all, Wind Sucker, who swallowed people at will, Kutoyis allowed himself to be swallowed and then killed the beast from within, thus freeing all the people who had been swallowed before.


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