Legendary Native American Figures: Windigo (Wendigo, Windego)
Name: Windigo Tribal affiliation:Chippewa, Ottawa, Algonquin, Potawatomi Alternate spellings: Wiindigoo, Wendigo, Weendigo, Windego, Wiindgoo, Windgo, Weendigo, Wiindigoo, Windago, Windiga, Wendego,
Windagoo, Widjigo, Wiijigoo, Wijigo, Weejigo, Wìdjigò, Wintigo, Wentigo, Wehndigo, Wentiko, Windgoe, Windgo, Wintsigo. Windigoag is a plural form (also spelled Windegoag, Wiindigooag, or Windikouk.) Pronunciation: Varies by dialect: usually ween-dih-goh or ween-dih-goo, but more like wee-jih-goh in Algonquin. Type:Monster, ice cannibal Related figures in other tribes:Kee-wakw (Abenaki),
Windigos are the evil man-eating giants of Anishinabe mythology. Windigos play the roles of monsters and bogeymen in some legends;
in others, Chippewa people who commit sins (especially selfishness, gluttony, or cannibalism) are turned into a Windigo as punishment.
The apperance of a windigo is huge, monstrous, and made of or coated in ice, but the human it once was is still frozen inside the
monster where its heart should be, and must be killed to defeat the windigo. In a few legends a human has been successfully rescued
from the heart of a windigo, but usually once a person has been possessed by a windigo spirit, the only escape is death.
Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends
A good collection of traditional folktales told by an Ojibway author.
When the Chenoo Howls:
Eerie collection of Native American ghost stories and monster tales.
Excellent anthology of Native American stories, songs, and oral history from the Ojibwe and other Algonquian tribes.