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W is for Wendigo.....

Wendigo--- malevolent, cannibalistic spirit--- capable of possessing a human. Also a  monster that humans could physically change into, were they to indulge in cannibalism.

Present in the Algonquian-speaking tribes in the Northern United States and Canada-- specifically among the tribes of Ojibwe, Saulteaux, Cree, Naskapi and Innu People.

The legend of the Algonquian people--- fear of becoming a Wendigo was strong enough to make the idea of cannibalism completely taboo--- even in extreme starvation situations. It was more accepted and perhaps encouraged that individuals commit suicide or await death by starvation in times of extreme famine, rather than risk becoming a Wendigo.

The creature was most strongly associated with winter and the north, the combination of cold and starvation.

Wendigos were the embodiment of greed and gluttony--- never being sated, always looking for the next victim to consume. It is this idea of greed/over-consumption that led to the belief, for some cultures, that humans could easily become Wendigos if they were overpowered by their greed.

Once a human was transformed, he would immediately become obsessed with consuming human flesh-- even if other food sources were readily available.

In Cold the Shadows

In cold the shadows grow long,
long as the day's dwindling hours.
The night draws the spirits out,
the ones seeking unearthly powers.

Of bone and flesh, the spirits seek,
to sate their growing hunger,
No measured amount will mark their fill,
their avarice only fuels their anger.

 There'll be no end to the battle scarred,
each soul lost, each life's end.
We'll find no peace on the shadow's side,
no way from here to be whole again.

                                                                                                        ---e.a.s. demers


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