Legends Of The National Parks: Voyageurs' The Wendigo By Aaron Johnson, Joel Anderson, 2022


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A cannibalistic beast brought to life by Indigenous Algonquin and Ojibwa folklore, explorers to the northern forests of Minnesota and Voyageurs National Park have good reason to fear the Wendigo. As the legend has it, the Wendigo was once a man, a hunter, roaming the forest looking for deer. But driven mad by his hunger, the hunter resorted to cannibalism, which turned him into a gruesome beast that looks like a cross between a haunted, emaciated deer and a tortured, rage-filled man. Not only is the Wendigo thought by some to be a real creature that roams the forests of northern Minnesota, but it's worth noting that Indigenous Americans only began talking about the Wendigo after their contact with European settlers. Some Indigenous historians believe that the Wendigo was once a symbol for Euro-American greed, land theft, and violence against Indigenous peoples. Some believe that Indigenous elders began telling the tale of the Wendigo to their children to discourage them from pursuing a life of greed and self-interest. Inspired and more than a little frightened by the mysterious nature of the Wendigo beast, Anderson Design Group artists drew on that emotion and the heart-stopping tales of Indigenous storytellers to hand-render a vintage-styled illustration of the creature, a depiction of the Wendigo roaming the shores of a lake in Voyageurs National Park. An excellent wall decor piece or gift, this artwork is available as a poster, print, canvas, metal sign, mini-canvas, postcard, or notecard. To learn more about the spooky history of the Wendigo beast, check out this news article that quotes Ojibwa teacher and storyteller Basil H. Johnston.

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