The Northwest Indian tribes, particularly the Salish, have a tale of a particularly malevolent and dangerous being that dwells deep in the forests of the Northwest. They are known primarily as Stick Indians. Physically, their description changes from tribe to tribe. Many legends acknowledge that they at least somewhat resemble other Native Americans. For example, the majority of tribes describe are about as tall as any other Native Americans. However, this isn’t universally true for example the Nez Perces call them little people. The Salish and several other tribes say that Stick Indians resemble our idea of Bigfoot.
The Stick Indians are seldom seen, they are almost completely nocturnal, and it is said that their language does not mimic human speech but instead sounds like birds and other animals. They primarily hunted and fished to feed themselves and seemed to not have any permanent settlement. They were clothed with deer skins or other fixings from the forest.
It is believed these creatures got the name Stick Indians because they dwell in the forest and share many traits with animals of the forest rather than typical tribes. Other inspirations for the name Stick Indians are believed to come from their puckish habit of thrusting sticks into teepees, lodges, and individuals while they slept.
Similar to the Pukwudgies, these beings were not a problem...until they are. Many Stick Indians will play pranks on villages during the night when they come across them. These pranks, while annoying, were fairly mild. For example, they would steal fish from nets, take off with food, and removed men’s clothes.
However, when threatened by other tribes or when tribes interfered with their lives the powers of these creatures would soon be on display. Stick Indians were incredibly vindictive and always sought revenge. It is believed that the Stick Indians have some powers of mental persuasion. Although the range of the powers differs (some believe they have the power to hypnotize or cause instant insanity) almost every tribe agrees that they are able to induce dread, confusion, and anxiety to humans, especially humans wandering alone. One of the ways they accomplish this is through disorienting a travel by whistling and mimicking animal noises.
Many people who disappeared were thought to have been taken by the Stick Indians as a punishment for disrespecting them. Children, specifically, were warned of the Stick Indians and wandering into the forest at night because the Stick Indian’s stole them away and brought them up to act as wives and slaves.
The above image is unrelated to the story and is from flickr user Mrs. Gemstones and is liscensed under Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0).