7

Or shall I say, what are some beliefs on how wendigos/ witigos/ chenoos (any cannibal ice giant type being from Native American folklore) are defeated?

4

Hard to answer question. The main problem here is the natives was not knowing writing at all. So we find pretty old account by explorers back in the 1700 BUT those are by people having some difficulties talking with the natives and having way more goal than collecting myths...

Now most of what we have is so relatively recent. One of the least recent piece we have is from Mary Catherwood. Miss Catherwood collected lots of Indians believes an novelised them, here is a significant passage in her book the Chase of Saint-Castin:

“Windigo like to eat him.” “I would kill a windigo,” declared Michel, in full revolt. “Not so easy to kill a windigo. Bad spirits help windigos. If man kill windigo and not tear him to pieces, he come to life again."

The Windigos are there basically monsters as Neme's Lion... You kill it by being stronger which seems to be a feature all by itself. Now you have to note it was written by an American writer, for a novel, so take that with all the necessary caution.

Now the rest that you will find has been written by other Americans/Europeans, or by modern natives. Two things you will find potentially able to kill a wendigo are:

  1. Silver: It is vastly due to the fact wendigos has been associated with werewolves (incorrectly or not). Keep in note that silver is also a relatively recent weakness of the werewolves. Silver bullets was not your random loot during Middle Age!!!
  2. Burning his heart of ice: Anyone will see here a reference to the Ice Queen whose heart needs to melt (well by love, but hey). So once again caution.


Monsters in myths rarely have 'weaknesses' in sense of kryptonite syndrome, "hahah on the ground Superman". In myths, you kill monsters the good old way: facing them and (hopefully) killing them.

|improve this answer|||||
3

To my knowledge, they do not die, but can be rendered inert through a two step process.

  1. Shattering their heart with a silver blade, and cutting up the body.
  2. Burn the pieces without mixing them, and scatter the remains in places far from each other, such as one part in a well and another part in a cave miles away and another part buried in a hole miles away from the other parts etc.

If too many parts are too close together, they will reform, and revive.

You should try to stay awake, to avoid its possession, or its psychosis.

Hopefully this helps.

|improve this answer|||||
  • 1
    The silver thing is... smelly... Remind that for the most part native Americans was far (eons) from the best smithies. Before the European arrival, most of their weapons was still woods, sinews, stones and bones, and here and there some bronze. North American, where the wendigo is from, was mostly hunter gatherers. So from the native American point of view any metal weapon is more than quite questionable. It is more than surely a post European arrival addition. – Gibet Aug 5 '16 at 12:44

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.