Horned serpents appear in Native American, European, and Near Eastern mythology. The Cherokee called these beasts Uktena. These giant serpents were said to be as thick as a tree, had poisonous breath, a gemstone-like crest, and underwater dwellings.
Found in the Southeastern and Great Lakes portions of North America, Uktena are giant snakes with magical abilities and dragon-like appearances. Perceived by most as evil, and hunted by the Thunderers, Uktenas are remembered as villains in most tales－ones that are both dangerous and cunning.
According to legend, the first Uktena was created by the Yunwi Tsunsdi’; angered by a sun-being that sent a sickness to destroy them, they transformed a human into a magical, monstrous snake. Tricking him into doing their bidding, “Keen-Eyed” failed to kill the solarcreature; Rattlesnake was created and sent instead. Rattlesnake’s success made “Keen-Eyed” so terribly jealous and irritable that everyone around him began to fear him. As his mood soured more and more, he was soon cast out of their community and forced to reside with other dangerous creatures. He, however, left this place, choosing to reside nearer to humans instead. Hidden deep underwater or sometimes within treacherous, mountain passes, “Keen-Eyed” mourned in his abysmal loneliness; taking pity on him, the fae created a companion to ease his suffering.
The forms of Horned Serpents vary from region to region slightly; this entry details the lives and bodies of those found in West Virginia.
5 x 7 art prints of West Virginia cryptids based on original drawings by Kristen Puckett.
I'm a pretty quiet person from Southern Ohio that loves monsters, animals, stories, and history. I moved to Fairbanks, AK to study art and received my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2017, afterward moving to & working in El Paso, TX. Currently, I reside in Lucasville, OH.
I enjoy outdoor activities - like hiking, kayaking, and sightseeing - reading, drawing, throwing pottery, sculpting, playing video games, and playing dungeons and dragons with my friends. ~Kristen Puckett - Appalachian Illustrator, Folklorist, & Ceramicist