Essay

What is the Wendigo? Is it Real?

The presence of cryptids is largely supported by folklore and stories, despite the lack of scientific proof for their actual existence. That being said, there have been numerous reported sightings of cryptids all across the world, ranging from frightening chupacabras to elusive thunderbirds.

Whatever the cryptid, these enigmatic beings have surely captivated the attention and imagination of people all around the world, tempting many. The well-known wendigo, a figure with profound roots in traditional Native American mythology, is one of these cryptids. That being stated, let us delve deeper into the folklore to learn more about wendigos and the possible meanings associated with their stories!

Origin of This Cryptid

Background: For millennia, wendigo has been a significant character in many native cultures’ oral histories. The origin can be traced to the Algonquin people, who inhabited the northern parts of both the United States and Canada, according to experts. However, this cryptid also found its way into the mythologies of numerous other aboriginal tribes, such as the Ojibwe, Saulteaux, Cree, Naskapi, and Innu.

The windikouk, wi’ntsigo, wi’tigo, and atchen are some of the names given to this creature, but they all roughly translate to “the evil spirit that devours mankind.” However, the word means something closer to “winter cannibal monster” in Ojibwe. This could be the case since they link wendigo to winter’s famine brought on by a lack of food.

Wendigo legends have long been told by Native Americans, although they weren’t recorded until 1636. Paul Le Jeune, a French Jesuit missionary, provided these accounts. He was living in what is now Quebec with the Algonquin people. He told how a woman alerted him to a neighbouring “atchen” (wendigo) that had just attacked in this recorded narrative. It is said that the wendigo’s decision to seek out prey elsewhere after being summoned was the only thing that prevented him and many other indigenous people in the area from dying right away.

The History of the First Wendigo

According to legend, the original wendigo was a hunter who got lost. His extreme hunger drove him to cannibalism during an exceptionally harsh winter. Following this unethical deed, the hunter turned into a wendigo on his own volition. This creature was called a “crazed man beast.” Following that, he made his home in the jungle, where he consumed every person that came into his path. According to Canadian and Native American folklore, wendigo are originally human. They only change when they are overcome by an overwhelming sense of hunger or greed. According to some folklore, individuals who come into prolonged touch with these terrible cryptids have the ability to transform into them.

Features and Attributes of This Cryptoid

Every Native American tribe has a different description of wendigo, yet they all share several characteristics. First of all, wendigo are said to be all supernatural, cannibalistic, and terrible creatures. Wendigo are sometimes considered to be non-physical entities. Rather, it is said that they are evil spirits that take possession of people who commit immoral crimes like cannibalism. In some instances, this cryptid takes the form of a physical beast that preys on humans, devours them, and then absorbs their body. On the other hand, the Cree people think that the only ways the spirit of wendigo can enter a person are through biting them or by entering their souls through dreams.

Thousands of reported sightings of wendigos have occurred over the years, despite the fact that there is currently no widely recognised scientific verification of their existence. This helps conjure up a possible appearance for them. They are described as “highly emaciated, humanoid beings” at first, with long limbs, pointed claws, and red eyes that light from within. Their skeletonized, grotesquely thin frames are tightly covered in skin, contributing to their unusual and striking profile. According to certain traditions, their bodies are also covered in scales from reptiles or matted fur.

In addition to its many other supernatural abilities, this cryptid can run at speeds exceeding one hundred miles per hour. Moreover, these animals possess the ability to accurately replicate sounds. With the help of their evil ability, they may entice victims far into the woods or away from other people, making them easy pickings for the wendigo. This cryptid is also frequently linked to an insatiable appetite for human flesh, which stands for unquenchable avarice and the destructive force it delivers.

How to Prevent an Attack by Wendigos

There are several strategies to stay clear of wendigos. The simplest method is to avoid saying any form of its name out loud. Many locals warn against doing so because it could end up giving the cryptid even more strength. Even worse, stories have it that calling its name out puts you at danger of calling it straight to you. Furthermore, you should definitely disregard any voices you hear in the woods at night, regardless of their nature!

The Truth Behind the Folklore

Although we have previously discussed the history of the wendigo, what specifically was the purpose of these plants? It is a well-known fact that many Native American myths and legends attempted to either warn against or discourage particular behaviours, or they served as an explanation for natural phenomena. As a result, it’s conceivable that the wendigo was only invented as a cautionary tale to deter certain actions, such gluttony, cannibalism, and greed. This legend also serves as a warning about the potential karmic consequences of giving in to your primitive desires or even just breaking widely held tribal taboos.

Ultimately, despite the fact that the wendigo is still primarily associated with myth and folklore, people who are drawn to the paranormal are nonetheless fascinated by its unsettling ubiquity in popular culture and Native American customs. But are they just things in our minds? Or are these cryptids really out there, just waiting for the right opportunity to strike?