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Legendary Native American Figures: Rugaru (Rougarou)
Tribal affiliation: Metis, Cree
Alternate spellings: Rougarou, Rigoureau, Rou-Garou, Roogaroo, Rougaroo, Rugaroo, Ruggaroo, Roux-Ga-Roux
Type: Monster, shape-shifter, ice cannibal, wolf
Related figures in other tribes: Windigo (Anishinabe),
"Rugaru" is not actually a Native American word, but rather a Michif pronunciation of the French phrase
"loup garou," meaning "wolf-man." Some stories about Rugaru come from French werewolf legends, some are
adaptations of Algonquian Windigo legends about man-eating ice monsters, and some are combinations
of the two. In most Rugaru legends a Metis person is turned into a Rugaru by catching sight of another
Rugaru, not being bitten by one (as in French werewolf legends) or committing sins of cannibalism
or greed (as in Algonquian Windigo legends.)
The Roogaroo: Scary Monster of the Turtle Mountain Chippewa:
Michif folktale about a woman's encounter with a rugaru.
Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends
Stories of the Road Allowance People:
A good collection of traditional Metis folktales.
Excellent anthology of Native American stories, songs, and oral history from the Cree and other Algonquian tribes.
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