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Átahsaia is a giant cannibalistic demon in the religion and mythos of the Zuni people of the Southwestern

United States. According to Mysterious Creatures: A Guide to Cryptozoology and Hidden Animals: A Field Guide to Batsquatch, Chupacabra, and Other Elusive Creatures, Átahsaia is the Zuni representation of the cryptozoological creature better known as Bigfoot.


According to the Zuni people of Southwestern United States, Átahsaiais is a cannibalistic giant demon.

Ogre kachina

Ogre Kachina

Depicted as several times larger than a human, with his torso described as being as big as a large elk, Átahsaiais possesses long grey hair as prickly as porcupine quills, skin so thick the knuckles appear horned, muscular arms covered in black and white scales, and a swollen red face in which his bulging eyes never blink. A minority of stories also claim Átahsaiais has long yellow tusks and long talons. An unsavory figure in native mythology, Átahsaiais is regarded as an incorrigible liar in addition to being a cannibal of both humans and his fellow demons. Habitually armed, Átahsaiais is routinely depicted with a giant flint axe or a flint knife “as broad as a man’s thigh and twice as long”.


Átahsaia appears in many different Zuni legends. In the story "Átahsaia, the Cannibal Demon," the demon lies to two young maidens, who (believing he is their ugly grandfather) follow Átahsaia to his home. The demon tries to feed them a soup made of human children, but they trick him and do not eat it. He tries to get the maidens to comb his hair, but again they trick him and do not touch him. The twin Zuni war gods, Åhayúta and Mátsailéma, rescue the two young women and kill the demon. They skin him, and create an effigy from his hide. They then trick their grandmother into believing it is Átahsaia. When she discovers the truth, she declares she will never visit them ever again.

In the story "The Rabbit Huntress and Her Adventures," a young woman leaves her starving family to hunt rabbits for a meal. A skilled hunter, she catches many rabbits. She is caught in a blizzard, and seeks refuge in a cave. Átahsaia finds her there, but cannot enter due to his huge size. He demands to eat all that she has, and she not only gives him her rabbits but her hunting gear and her very clothes. Unsated, Átahsaia attempts to break into the cave using his flint club.