Dangerous Spirits: The Windigo in Myth and History

Dangerous Spirits: The Windigo in Myth and History
Author: Shawn Smallman
Language English
Pages: 232
ISBN10: 1772030325
Genre: Nonfiction
Goodreads Rating: 3.84
ISBN13: 9781772030327
Published: November 7th 2014 by Heritage House Publishing Co. Ltd.

In the traditional Algonquian world, the windigo is the spirit of selfishness, which can transform a person into a murderous cannibal. Native peoples over a vast stretch of North America--from Virginia in the south to Labrador in the north, from Nova Scotia in the east to Minnesota in the west--believed in the windigo, not only as a myth told in the darkness of winter, but also as a real danger.

Drawing on oral narratives, fur traders' journals, trial records, missionary accounts, and anthropologists' field notes, this book is a revealing glimpse into indigenous beliefs, cross-cultural communication, and embryonic colonial relationships. It also ponders the recent resurgence of the windigo in popular culture and its changing meaning in a modern context.