Creature Compendium: Wendigo

We’re back to North America this week. I tried to find some art that isn’t too macabre, but a lot of windigo art seems to be fairly horrific.

The Wendigo / Windigo

wendigo
Wendigo by CapnSwag

 

The windigo is a cannibalistic supernatural creature with a desiccated body resembling a corpse that lacks lips and eyes. The windigo’s hunger can never be satiated, and it’s forever starving, looking for the next meal as soon as it has consumed the last. Sometimes the winidigo is described as a giant, that grows every time it eats a meal.

Humans are purported to turn into windigo’s if they participate in cannibalism. The Algonquian peoples believe it is better to commit suicide during famine, than eat the flesh of another human.The windigo myth may have serve to reinforce the taboo against cannibalism.

Further reading:

Related creatures: werewolf, bigfoot

Region of origin: North America, Algonquian tribes

I seem to be finding more malevolent creatures than benevolent ones as I do this series. Hopefully next time I’ll have something a little more cute and fuzzy for you. I could sure use a dose of it!

8 thoughts on “Creature Compendium: Wendigo

  1. Of course, as an old X-File fan from back in the day, I’d already heard of the Wendigo. But I suspect my education as to the full import of this mythical creature is probably a tad lacking. I often see “wendigo” shortly summarized as “Native American Werewolf”, which I think likely gives this myth short-shrift. The image you found is great, though!

    1. Thanks Stephen! Yeah, it’s not exactly a werewolf, but it has similarities. Not all folktales say the wendigo’s came from humans. I think a 15′ tall wendigo would scare the daylights out of me!

  2. I’d imagine eating meals would be difficult with no lips. Maybe that’s why they’re in such bad mental spaces all the time – they’re doomed to dribble.

  3. That art is still fairly morbid. I love this idea though, that the actions of a mortal man can transform them into something bestial.

    Out of interest – what are your plans with all these “Creature Compendium” features? You’ve built a fair old catalogue now, perhaps you could compile them into something like “Bazelli’s Compendium of Creatures Fantastical and Bizarre!”.

    1. That sounds like a carnival side show! ;D I really have no plans for now, but maybe someday. If only I had some illustration skills, that might be a fun little handbook.

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