Unktehi

Freshwater Monster of the north-central United States.

Etymology: Dakota (Siouan) word. Variant name: Unktéxi. Physical description: Serpentine but with feet. Huge horn on its head. Spikes on the tail.

Behavior: Caused a great flood. Its bones can still be seen in the Badlands of South Dakota.

Distribution: Missouri River, as well as nearby tributaries and lakes.

Possible explanation: Based on fossil dinosaur bones in the Black Hills and Badlands.

Sources: Albert S. Gatschet, "WaterMonsters of American Aborigines," Journal of American Folklore 12 (1899): 255-260; Richard Erdoes and Alfonso Ortiz, eds., American Indian Myths and Legends (New York: Pantheon, 1984), pp. 93-95, 220-222.

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