Sightings of Bigfoot-style creatures are widespread across Canada. This is hardly surprising, given that pretty much the entire Pacific northwest of the United States is home to the legendary man-beasts, too. It’s possible that the legends of the savage and infamous Wendigo may have developed out of near-fatal, and even deadly, encounters with violent, murderous Bigfoot. But, that's a story for another day.
There are, however, several kinds of unknown ape-men in Canada and the northern states of the USA that are far removed from the likes of Sasquatch. One of these is the tongue-tying Geow-lud—mo-sis-eg. It’s a diminutive, goblin-like creature that is said to be covered in black hair and which prefers to live in caves. It lurks and feeds in deep woods, surrounded by dense marshland. Rather like the fairies of Middle Ages-era Europe, we are told that the Geow-lud-mo-sis-eg enjoy playing pranks on people – pranks that sometimes turn malevolent if the creatures feel they have been slighted or disrespected.
Also like the elementals of fairy lore, the Geow-lud-mo-sis-eg allegedly have an obsession with braiding the manes of horses. As does Bigfoot, as undeniably weird as that certainly sounds. Rather notably, this odd tradition also extends all the way to Russia, where the hairy-humanoid known as the Almasty is said to have an obsession with braiding horses.
Then there are the Memegwesi, primitive ape-like humans that are a major part of the lore of the Ojibwe, Cree, Innu, Metis, Algonquin, and Menominee people. They are hairy things, around four feet tall at adulthood. And, according to legend, they are said to have had a good relationship with the Native Americans for many centuries. Like a number of unknown ape-men - such as those which are said to roam the wilder parts of Guyana - they have a particular taste for nothing less than tobacco. They are rumored to be significantly developed too. There are tales of the Memegwesi having a language. In addition, they are said to have the ability to construct sturdy canoes, in which they hunt for fish.
Of potential (although, admittedly, not at all proven) connection to the stories of the Memegwesi and the Geow-lud-mo-sis-eg is the very strange 1635 story of an Arctic explorer, Captain Luke Foxe. In his journal for that year, Captain Foxe wrote of an extraordinary discovery of a huge number of coffins in the region of Baffin Island, Canada. Foxe recorded the story, after speaking with the locals about the strange find. He stated:
"The news from the land was that this island was a Sepulchre, for that the Savages had laid their dead (I cannot say interred), for it is all stone, as they cannot dig therein, but lay the corpses upon the stones, and well them about with the same, confining them also by laying the sides of old sleddes above, which have been artificially made. The boards are some 9 or 10 ft long, 4 inches thicke [sic].
"In what manner the tree they have bin [sic] made out of was cloven or sawen [sic], it was so smooth as we could not discerne [sic], the burials had been so old. And, as in other places of these countries, they bury all their utensils, as bowes [sic], arrows [sic], strings, darts, lances, and other implements carved in bone."
Demonstrating a potential connection to the Memegwesi and the Geow-lud-mo-sis-eg, Captain Foxe said: "The longest corpse was not above 4 foot long, with their heads laid to the West. Their corpses were wrapped in Deare [sic] skinnes [sic]. They seem to be people of small stature."
Legend and folklore? Or tales based on genuine encounters with unknown humanoids?