They are tremendously strong, have beards and lots of hair, and want to bring you into their sex life--no matter which sex you are! They most often steal women, but sometimes children too, “because they have none of their own.” I’m not sure why Nakan—or Big Foot for that matter--never seem to have any females. It’s not very mammalian for an animal to reproduce by budding or cell division.
My personal explanation for these man-amals is that they are black bears, standing up on their back legs in order to get a better look-see. Frankly, bears would be sufficiently terrifying for someone like me, who, at 6, suffered from screaming nightmares which involved bears searching for me--snuffle, snuffle, snuffle--while I shuddered under my bed.
Wendigo or Wittigo is a nasty character from Ojibway, Cree, and Assiniboine legends. Universally, among 1st People, the three worst sins are greed, gluttony and selfishness. If you behaved like that, not sharing food with your kin, you might turn into a Wendigo. The Wendigo are very tall, with yellowish rotting skin—and a taste for dining upon the flesh of their best old ex-friends.
Of course, starvation, not unheard of in Hunter-Gatherer societies, could lead to episodes of cannibalism. Making that choice, however expedient, would nevertheless cause a person to transform into the loathsome, man-eating Wendigo, worst of all terrors.
Now, the 1st Nation’s people had a legendary hostile spirit who was said to live in this lake, one who did not enjoy having them disturb his peace while they paddled across. It was traditional 1st Nation practice, if they had to cross the lake, to sacrifice something as they set out, a chicken or another small animal, in order to appease this angry power. Today's informants, however, say that this "monster" was a spirit, not a creature from the “primitive survivor” category of the cryptozoologist's version of the animal family.
Opopogo Opopogo Opopogo Opopogo Opopogo… ! How it trips off the tongue! Any monster with such a phonetically enchanting name deserves to be better known, don’t you think?
Last and not least is Waheela, a gigantic wolf with a huge head, sharp teeth, a wide splayed foot, and a reputed height at the shoulder of four feet. Covered in long white hair, Waheela enjoys ripping the heads off people who trespass in his territory--the Nahanni River basin in the Mackenzie Mountains National Region--which is aptly named "The Valley of Headless Men." This dire-wolf like beast seems to be a relative of the Inuit's Amarok, who is gray and hunts at night. Amarok catches and eats foolish or desperate hunters who might still be outside their villages.