Windigos, Wingigog and Windikouk

Myth Reading Group
Wednesday 31 October 2018
5.00 – 6.00 pm
Room NTC.2.05

This week Léna Remy-Kovach (University of Freiburg) will join us by Skype to lead a session on Windigos, Wingigog and Windikouk.

The Wendigo of the Great Lakes, by Norval Morrisseau

Norval Morrisseau (1931-2007), Wendigo of the Great Lakes

 

Léna Remy-Kovach, Windigos, Wingigog and Windikouk

The Windigo is a cannibalistic creature who haunts forests of the Atlantic Coast and the Great Lakes region. In Algonquian stories, it represents greed, anger, and most of all, insatiable hunger. Its loneliness and gluttony make it prey on humans for food, and each feeding makes it crave more victims. In recent Indigenous fiction, this traditional figure of the monstrous Other has evolved into an allegory of colonial violence. From a Winter Spirit who wanders the woods at night looking for victims to Catholic priests abusing Indigenous children in Residential Schools. In this session we will discuss the various forms, old and new, taken by this ancestral shapeshifter.

Text: Louise Erdrich, “Windigo”, Jacklight (New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1984).

Léna Remy-Kovach is a doctoral student at the University of Freiburg, Germany. Her current research projects include the commodification of Indigenous monsters in Euro-American horror TV series, the use of classic European monsters in Indigenous literature about colonialism, and the imagery of hunger and cannibalism in recent Young Adult fiction by Indigenous writers. Her Ph.D. thesis focuses on the notions of healing and (re)conciliation in contemporary Gothic Indigenous literature from Turtle Island (Canada and the United States.). www.lenaremykovach.com

 

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