An ethnohistorical examination of the Algonquian witiko (windigo) phenomenon, utilizing both previously unexamined documentary sources and oral traditions of Athabasca Cree and Métis elders, reveals that a witiko “condition” is historically verifiable, that the celebrated cannibalistic “windigo psychosis” of Algonquianists eludes proper definition as a bona fide culture-bound pathology, and finally, that no single hypothesis, as of yet, consistently accounts for this phenomenon within an internally coherent non-indigenous theory. The witiko phenomenon should be analyzed from within northern Algonquian cosmologies rather than Western perspectives if it is to be adequately accounted for in future discussions.

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