For maximum of modern-day human’s lifestyles, say over the last 50,000 to a hundred,000 years, if we saw some thing fly underneath its own energy, it became a fowl, a bat or an insect – perhaps a ‘flying’ fish or ‘flying’ fox if you want to stretch things a bit. Relatively few of those function prominently in any subculture’s mythology. Bats would possibly have an association with vampires, however your average run-of-the-mill garden variety hen is generally taken for granted – except they are substantial in length and like human beings for dinner.
If there’s almost one element popular in Native American mythology it’s far massive birds, monster birds, even the Thunderbird (which has been followed as a logo call for plenty merchandise no longer to say the name of a TV display with associated spin-off movement photos). Now apart from the real observations of these winged monstrosities, there’s nothing all that uncommon about giant flying creatures in mythology. What sets these ‘birds’ aside is that they frequently like to snack on the natives – as takeaways, no longer dine in. Is there any herbal terrestrial reason for birds carrying away humans, like a crow picking up a kernel of corn? Or, may one have to inn to any other, extra unnatural and possibly extraterrestrial explanation?
Mythological Monster ‘Birds’ of the Americas
Dragons: While often linked with the Old World (Europe, the Far East, and many others.), dragons have some, albeit lesser regarded connection in the New World of the Americas, possibly a bit greater inside the guise of serpents, that is taking on a serpentine appearance. This is most notably so with appreciate to that well-known feathered serpent (sounds greater like a bird certainly) Quetzalcoatl, a important Aztec deity, but mentioned as nicely in Mayan subculture and that other, and mysterious preliminary Mesoamerican civilization, the Olmecs.
However, we do have the Piasa Bird which is depicted as a dragon in a Native American Indian mural above the Mississippi River close to present day Alton, Illinois. It’s thought that the originals had been accomplished with the aid of the Cahokia Indians manner before any white settlers arrived in their territory. Their pictographs of animals, birds along with the falcon, chook-men and serpents (colossal snakes) had been commonplace, as became the Thunderbird icon. According to a local professor residing within the location in the 1830’s, John Russell, the Piasa Bird depicted within the mural became a tremendous chicken that inhabited the vicinity and attacked and ate the locals that inhabited numerous Indian villages inside the region. Apparently it got a flavor for human flesh after scavenging human carrion (corpses).
Thunderbirds & Related: These beasties are nearly time-honored in Native American Indian mythology, and what is extra they convey many comparable capabilities. They tend to be very massive birds which are seen as the personification of thunder (the thrashing in their wings) and lightning and all things stormy; a sort of Zeus or Thor but with wings, talons, a beak and feathers. The Native Americans believed that the large Thunderbird should shoot lightning from its eyes. Say what? Even odder is that the Thunderbird frequently has tooth in its beak. We’ve all heard the phrase “uncommon as hen’s teeth” – well it is due to the fact current birds are toothless.
Thunderbirds have been additionally related to the Great Spirits so commonplace in Indian lore. They have been servants of those deities and seemingly acted as messenger-boys (sorry, messenger-birds) – a form of greater-huge carrier pigeon – sporting communications between those diverse Great Spirits. Thunderbirds had been related to the weather as we’ve got visible, and additionally with water. Now an thrilling parallel is that dragons in the Old World are regularly regarded as move-betweens among the gods and humanity (sort of once more like provider pigeons) and their having some manage over the weather and the waters became a commonplace feature as properly.
So, this mythological monster bird is not unusual throughout Indian legends. Actually in a single case there was a Thunderbird that resembled a giant eagle that was big sufficient, and effective enough to carry a whale in its claws. Say what once more? According to the Makah human beings of the Northwest Coast, a Thunderbird stored a village from famine through snatching up a whale from the Pacific Ocean and giving it to the community to feed off of, giving the village food lasting for many weeks. Would this be an American example of a case of manna from Heaven? Now no chook could definitely deliver even a small whale in its beak or talons, so there ought to be some other rationalization.