A Wendigo is stated by Native Algonquian legend to come from someone who consumes human flesh. Doing this, causes the person to transform into the hideous creature. Native Algonquian legends describe it as a creature that has been transformed from eating human flesh (cannibalism). Among Algonquian cultures, cannibalism was considered taboo no matter what. It was better to die of famine. On one level, the Wendigo myth worked as warning against those resorting to cannibalism.
Wendigos are strongly associated with the Winter, the North, and coldness, as well as famine and starvation.
Wendigos are described by the Native Algonquian legend as: “it is usually described as a giant with a heart of ice; sometimes it is thought to be made of ice. It’s body is skeletal and deformed, with missing lips and toes.”. While another version told by the Ojibwa First Nation states: “it was a large creature, as tall as a tree, with a lipless mouth and jagged teeth. It’s breath was a strange hiss, it’s footprints full of blood, and it ate any man, woman, or child who ventured into it’s territory. And those were the lucky ones. Sometimes the Wendigo chose to possess a person instead, and then the luckless indicidual became a Wendigo himself, hunting down those he once loved and feasting upon their flesh.”
Wendigo Psychosis is a syndrome in which someone develops an insatiable desire to consume human flesh, even when other food sources are readily available, often as a resuly of prior cannibalism. It has been up for debate for a long time on whether Wendigo psychosis can be classified as a real syndrome, or as a “Culture-bound” syndrome.
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