If you steal from me, I will HAUNT you down!

MyFreeCopyright.com Registered & Protected What is written in this blog, is of the author's own originality. It is the sole views, thoughts, and stories of this blog's author.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Reader Request... The Wendigo

I'm glad my friend, Miriam over on FaceBook brought this topic to light. Seeing as I have never myself heard of this mythical creature before. And he doesn't look like the friendly type, either.

According to Wikipedia, the following is said about this strange monstrous-looking creature...

"The Wendigo (also known as Windigo, Weendigo, Windago, Windiga, Witiko, Wihtikow, and numerous other variants) is a mythical creature appearing in the mythology of the Algonquian people. It is a malevolent cannibalistic spirit into which humans could transform, or which could possess humans. Those who indulged in cannibalism were at particular risk, and the legend appears to have reinforced this practice as taboo.

Wendigo psychosis is a culture-bound disorder which involves an intense craving for human flesh and the fear that one will turn into a cannibal. This once occurred frequently among Algonquian Native cultures, though has declined with the Native American urbanization.

Recently the Wendigo has also become a horror entity of contemporary literature and film, much like the vampire, werewolf, or zombie, although these fictional depictions often bear little resemblance to the original entity.

All cultures in which the Wendigo myth appeared shared the belief that human beings could turn into Wendigos if they ever resorted to cannibalism or, alternately, become possessed by the demonic spirit of a Wendigo, often in a dream. Once transformed, a person would become violent and obsessed with eating human flesh. The most frequent cause of transformation into a Wendigo was if a person had resorted to cannibalism, consuming the body of another human in order to keep from starving to death during a time of extreme hardship or famine.

The term "Wendigo psychosis" (also spelled many other ways, including "Windigo psychosis" and "Witiko psychosis") refers to a condition in which sufferers developed an insatiable desire to eat human flesh even when other food sources were readily available,[15] often as a result of prior famine cannibalism."

Now one of the most famous (or shall I say 'infamous'?) forms of United States-based cannibalism came in the form of the Donner Party and their failed expedition. They had set out towards California, through the Truckee, Nevada (there is a California and a Nevada side of Truckee) area of the mountainous regions of the Sierras.

As they headed out in to the wilderness, to find their pot of gold (as did many upon many had done in those days during the Gold Rush, in the mid 1800's, the group had come across a violent winter storm during the white-out conditions of the 1846-1847 Winter Blizzard.

Eventually, with their being trapped in the Sierra Nevada terrain within the deathly condition, surely, they were in big trouble. When there is snow in the Sierras, you can get several feet. Some top at twenty-five. Some even higher. And the Donner Party's food could only last and be rationed for so long. Soon, they were going to have to resort to other means to keep alive. In fact, much soon than they had hoped for.

Eventually, they had to kill off the horses and feed off of them. Any parts that were edible..were eaten. Then, once the horses were picked apart, there was no other real alternative left. They, instead of burying the dead below the deep snow as a final resting place, preserved them in the snow and ate off of their deceased members. Men, women and children alike. They did what they could to survive the extremely harsh conditions.

Would you say that the Donner Party had succumbed to "Wendigo psychosis"? It's very possible. Or did they do it as a way to survive and live to at least see one more day?

Weather these people continued on their flesh-eating ways is of no known knowledge. I say personally, most likely not. Seeing as it was their way of staying fit for survival within the harsh elements. Not some insatiable appetite for human flesh.


Yeah right said...

Cool, thanks for doing this. I recently saw 2 different tv shows with a Wendigo, and both had a different origins of the beast.


Jessica Penot said...

HAve you ever seen a movie called Ravenous? It is actually pretty good and it is about the Wendigo.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...