For decades, the legends of small-statured creatures living in caves or mountains have been present in different cultures, especially in the American one. The Native Americans were sure that the Pryor Mountains were home to some of them.
The Pryor Mountains are a mountain range in Carbon and Big Horn counties of Montana, and Big Horn a county of Wyoming. They are located on the Crow Indian Reservation and the Custer National Forest, and portions of them are on private land.
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Most Native American peoples have enigmatic stories about a mysterious race known as “little people.” These beings lived in forests, caves or mountains and near large bodies of water, such as the Great Lakes.
Native American mythology
The legends of the little people speak of beings ranging from 40 centimeters in height. Some tribes referred to them as mythological beings, similar to fairies and goblins.
These stories were widely known among the natives, long before European settlers arrived in North America. This rules out any “resemblance” to goblins , which some scholars suggest.
According to the Indians of Wyoming, the Nimerigar were very small and violent people who should be avoided at all costs.
Their presence was believed to be distractions to cause harm. Some considered them gods. In fact, certain tribes claimed that they lived in neighboring caves, which were never explored so as not to disturb them.
The Cherokee, on the other hand, refer to the Ynwi-Tsunsdi, a race of little people who did not usually show themselves to the people. It is believed that these beings had magical abilities and could help or harm people , depending on how they were treated.
The Catawba of South Carolina had myths about the spirit realm that reflect their own and Christian traditions. They believed in the Yehasuri or “tiny wild people”, who resided in the forests.
Within the mythology of the Native Americans, the Pukwudgies, humanoid creatures with a gray face and enormous ears, also stand out. This legend spreads throughout the northeastern United States, southeastern Canada, and the Great Lakes region.
The Little People of the Pryor Mountains
The Crow Indians reported the existence of a race of small people inhabiting the Pryor Mountains.
The natives believed that the little people were responsible for carving the petroglyphs discovered on the rocks of the place.
Other tribes also believed that the Pryor Mountains were home to small creatures. The Lewis and Clark Expedition even reported sightings of extremely low-lying beings along the White Stone River, now the Vermillion River, in 1804.
On August 25, Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, and 10 other men traveled about 9 miles (14 km) north of the river’s junction with the Missouri River to see the “mountain of the Little People”.
Lewis wrote in his journal that the Little People were “deavals” (devils) with very large heads, about 18 inches (46 cm) high, and very alert to any intrusions into their territory. The Sioux said that the devils carried sharp arrows which could strike at a very long distance, and that they killed anyone who approached their mound.
The Little People so terrified the local population, Lewis reported, that the Maha (Omaha), Ottoes (Otoe), and Sioux would not go near the place.
The Lakota people who came to live near the “Spirit Mound” after the Wičhíyena Sioux have a story no more than 250 years old which describes how a band of 350 warriors came near the mound late at night and were nearly wiped out by the ferocious Little People (the survivors were crippled for life).
Other Native American tribes believe that area to be the home of demons. These have human-like bodies, large heads and are barely a meter tall. These creatures are always on the defensive and carry sharp arrows that can kill at long range.
In fact, many of the deaths of natives who tried to cross the hill were attributed to these beings.
Still, to the ravens, the little people are sacred and credited with creating their tribe. Being considered as deities.
It is incredible how different tribes of Native Americans coincide in the existence of the so-called “little people”. Just as other tribes throughout the Americas did and as people, even today, are sure of having had contact with them…