(Image: Melo)

A Native American legend, the wendigo, windigo, or wiendigo has three distinct forms across multiple tribes. First, the wendigo is a lost hunter who ate human flesh during a hard winter and transformed into a monster in the tales of the Algonquin people. In the region of Ontario, Canada, it is an aquatic creature with the body of an alligator, but bear paws or cloven hooves. Finally, the windigo is an ogre that will eat bad children in the legends of the Ojibwa people (Rose 389-390).

The Ojibwa windigo is clearly meant to keep children in line with the threat of being eaten, and the crocodile-like wendigo’s ability to chew through fishing nets (Rose 189) offers an explanation for the destruction of nets by strong sea creatures. However, the transformed hunter has a unique motive: his own loneliness and neverending hunger. This is interesting because it shows the sympathetic human side of the monster, possibly encouraging pity for the wendigo.


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