As I crested the hill I froze - halted by the gaze of this strange being. I could feel its claws in my empty stomach, writhing and pulling me to give in. My companion was not faring as well as I and wouldn't last much longer. That leg wound will fester and spoil the meat. Pity to let it go to waste.
The Wendigo is one of my favorite folk tales. A spirit that embodies the animal within us that seeks to put our lives, needs, and wants before others at any cost. This creature lives within all of us. It is up to us to make sure we do not become this. When creating this image I wanted to create a sense of unease in the viewer. You are looking into the eyes of something that wants to consume you.
Legends of the Wendigo
The first tales of the Wendigo were told by the Algonquian people, natives to the Atlantic Coast woods and Great Lakes Region in the US and Canada. They told stories of a spirit that would take over a human and turn them into a creature of insatiable greed. Later in the modern era the term Wendigo psychosis is used to describe someone who commits acts of greed to the detriment of others. Things like destroying communities and the environment for personal gain are forms of Wendigo psychosis.
Possibly the most well known encounter with what is thought to be a Wendigo spirit is the Dyatlov Pass incident. An experienced group of nine hikers entered the Ural Mountains. On the night of February 2 1959 something caused them to flee their campsite, dressed in no more than undergarments, in frigid temperatures. Later, investigators determined six of the nine died from exposure while the others died of more nefarious means. One from physical trauma to their skull, while another died of brain damage without any sign of physical harm. The last member of the group was missing her tongue.
The investigators determined the hikers had died by an "unknown compelling force". The region was closed and named Dyatlov to honor the leader of the group, Igor Dyatlov.