Saturday, November 30, 2013

Canadian Monsters - The Wendigo

Perhaps one of the most famous, yet unique creatures of the Canadian wilderness is the mysterious Wendigo.
The Wendigo also suffers from a bit of an identity crisis. Is it an ape-man, a forest spirit, a weird Canadian version of a vampire or a werewolf? Well, according to the Algonquin legends from which it originates, perhaps all of the above. And since the legends of this creature stretch across a large portion of North America, it varies a bit with each tribal tradition.
In the Canadian Ojibwe tradition, it is said to be an emaciated tall figure with a complex like the ash grey of death. It has haunting, almost demonic eyes and the rack of a well aged stag. The creature would often tower over man, growing in proportion to the meal it had just consumed, leading it to be forever hungry. They are ravenous gluttons and yet emaciated with starvation.
Whether depicted as an ape-man or something far more disturbing the Wendigo has become one of the more popular North American monsters, and one of the few to even make it's way into traditionally European-centric fantasy fiction. It even appears in Longfellow's 1855 poem "The Song of Hiawatha".
For an interesting, some what early pulp adoption of the creature, check out Algernon Blackwood's 1910 story "The Wendigo".

No comments:

Post a Comment