Blood Clot Boy

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Also known as I'nage-utasvhi and He Who Grew Up Wild
Native American (Cherokee, Southern Ute) hero figure

The Southern Ute version of the story of Blood Clot Boy tells how he arose from a blood clot found by an old, childless hunter, who brought it home to his wife. When boiled it turned into a baby boy, who grew rapidly and was miraculously precocious, much like Heracles. He became an excellent hunter and took good care of his adoptive parents, but one day he said he must leave them and visit the village where many people live. Arriving there, he found the people starving from lack of game, but they helped him discover that he was one of the Buffalo Tribe, and he was given the chief's daughter as a wife. In exchange he provided the village with plenty of game to eat. He told his wife never to use the word "calf", since it was part of him and he part of it. But one day she forgot, and in her excitement at seeing a herd of buffalo called out "kill that calf". Blood Clot Boy immediately mounted his horse and rode away with the herd, changing into a buffalo as he rode.

In the Cherokee version, the old couple, Kana'ti and Selu, had a son already, and Blood Clot boy formed out of the blood Selu washed into the river while cleaning the game killed by Kana'ti. He was like a feral child, and they named him I'nage-utasvhi (He Who Grew Up Wild). The two boys were great trouble-makers and were eventually turned out of the family by their parents. Their conversation in the sky is what makes the sound of thunder.

The Southern Ute story has obvious affinities with the Inuit story of Bear Woman and the Rabbit Boy of the Rosebud Sioux. The Cherokee version has close similarities to the story of Enkidu.


Musinsky, Gerald. "Blood Clot Boy." Available at:
Lowie, Robert. "Blood Clot." Formerly available at:
Grey Bear. "Kana'ti and Selu." Available at:


Mythological, Traditional and Divine Figures
Native American and Alaskan Native, Inuit
Foundlings and Feral Children
Others ("Strangers")
Adoptive/Foster Family Included Birth Child(ren)
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