>>17243667 The Wendigo is a mythology common to severe scarcity societies, as in those cultures where resources commonly become so rare that resorting to cannibalism is a relevant and pragmatic option.
The stories follow a very formulaic path, such that the cultural relevance of the stories is spelled out through them. Firstly, eating the flesh of other humans benefits the person dining. This illustrates that the pragmatic need exists, and that the initial results are what's expected, and more. Yes, do dine on your fellow humans, it won't just feed you, it will make you strong.
But then comes in the damnation cycle. Westerners will see a similar pattern in their deals with the Devil mythologies, initial gain for sacrifice/punishment later. This is a common theme in human culture.
The "wendigo" becomes a supernatural being, strong beyond human measure, fast beyond human reckoning, but entirely obsessed with eating more and more human flesh. The trade, as all cultural "deals with the devil" are, requires the complete loss of humanity and morality in exchange for base survival and skill.
The Wendigo legend spells out, perhaps, the most distinct relevant separation of core savagery and civilization. It declares that for all the short term personal benefits, all you become is a monster to be destroyed.
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