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Friday, 11 July 2014

Native American Dragons

Hi dear friends and followers welcome to my humble blog. Today we will be journeying further into The Native American traditions, legends and myths. We will be in particularly following the tracks of the dragons and dinosaurs, particularly in  north and south America.

Native American Dragons

The Piasa Bird

The legent of this creature was presented in-depth a few months ago. Here is a link to what we have found on this creature and a few lines from the story as a teaser for you: It was August 1675. A seven-member expedition paddled west through the Straits of Mackinac, searching the middle Mississippi River region for a passage to the Pacific. The first European exploration of the area, they were led by Father Jacques Marquette, a French missionary, and Louis Jolliet, a fur-trader and cartographer.


The explorers left despite dire warnings from local Indians – there is a winged monster in the area that devours all who come near it.
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And now for today's presentation about Native American Dragons

Nanabozho



Nanabozho was the main character in many of the myths told by the Chippewa people, who once lived on the shores of Lake Superior, the setting of this story:


One day Nanabozho came home to find that his young cousin was missing. Searching for tracks he found the trail of the Great Serpent. The serpent must have taken his cousin.


He packed a bow and arrows and followed the serpent’s trail. It took him over rivers, mountains and valleys to the shores of Manitou Lake. At the bottom of the lake Nanabozho could see the house of the Great Serpent. Living there with the serpent was an assortment of monstrous and evil spirits. The serpent itself, a huge multi-colored scaly beast, was wrapped around the body of Nanabozho’s cousin.

Intent on revenge, Nanabozho utilised some of the trickery he was famous for.


He ordered the clouds to disappear and the wind to be still. When the air above the lake became stagnant, he asked the sun to burn as hot and bright as it could. If the water boiled, he thought, the serpent would leave the lake and seek the shade of the trees beside the lake.

Nanabozho found a spot near the trees, transformed himself into a tree stump and waited. The sun burned fiercely. After some time the water in the lake began to simmer. Some small serpents came up to the surface. They looked around for Nanabozho but couldn’t see him.

The water boiled. The Great Serpent rose out of the water and moved toward the shore, with his evil spirits behind him. It knew of Nanabozho’s trickery and guessed that the stump could be him in disguise.


It sent some small serpents to attack it, but Nanabozho, although he was scared, kept quiet until they gave up.

The Great Serpent slipped out of the lake and sheltered under the trees, as did all its companions. Nanabozho waited until they were all asleep. When they were, he silently drew an arrow from his quiver, and fired it at the heart of the Great Serpent. His aim was true. The serpent awoke with a howl so loud that the mountains all shook. It plunged into the water, dived to the bottom and tore the body of Nanabozho’s cousin into hundreds of pieces.

The Great Serpent knew that it would soon die from the wound, so it planned one final act of revenge. It caused the water of the lake to swell upward out over the land.



The flood surged across the valleys and Nanabozho fled before it. He ran back to his village, shouting, “Run to the mountains! The Great Serpent is flooding the Earth! Run! Run!”

The people did as he said and climbed to the top of a mountain. Nanabozho kept running until he reached a high mountain near Lake Superior, the highest mountain around. Other people were also there, seeking safety from the flood. As other mountaintops disappeared below the water, Nanabozho made a raft out of timber and placed all the people and animals upon it.

Then the highest mountain was also overwhelmed by the flood, but the people on the raft survived. After many days the floods receded and life started over again. The Great Serpent was dead.

Many other stories of Nanabozho were made famous in the poem “The Song of Hiawatha” by Longfellow – with a lot of distortion from the originals, not the least being calling the hero Hiawatha instead of Nanabozho.
Quetzalcoatl

Close to Mexico City are the pyramids of Teotihuacan. They are carved with many things – including a dragon called Quetzalcoatl.

Quetzalcoatl was not an evil dragon. He was the ancient cultural hero among the Aztec, the Toltec and other Meso-American peoples.

He taught them how to write and explained agriculture to them. He introduced the calendar, monotheism, music, dance and so on – in essence he civilised them.

The Maya knew him as Kulkulkan, and the Quiché called him Gucumatz. The same god appeared in Zuni rituals as Kolowisi and a Hopi ritual named him as palulukong.
All of these have the same meaning: “plumed serpent”.
In his dragon form he ruled the wind, the rain and the fertility of the earth, the cycles of human sustenance. As a celestial and terrestrial being he was man’s magical connection to the mysteries of heaven and the sacred earthly realm.



Quetzalcoatl was an integral part of the creation of each of the worlds/cycles/ suns of the Aztecs. The fifth age was initiated by Quetzalcoatl in 3,113 B.C. and is due to complete its cycle on Dec. 21, 2012.
Just prior to the age of the fifth sun, Quetzalcoatl created man by going to the underworld and retrieving the bones of an earlier human incarnation. On his return journey he stumbled and fell, breaking the bones, and therefore the resulting people came out in all different shapes and sizes.
When he was driven away by war he promised to return to his people one day. Some accounts have him leaving in a dragon boat or on a raft of serpents. Some believe he sacrificed his human body and flew off into the sky to become the bright planet we know as Venus.

To the ancients the planet Venus was seen as highly important being second to the Sun and the Moon. The ancient Greeks believed that a massive comet named “Phaeton” (or “Blazing Star”) nearly collided with Earth, setting our planet on fire before it transformed into Venus.

The ancient Assyrians knew Venus as the “...fearful dragon…who is clothed in fire.” The Aztecs knew it as “The star that smoked”, and the Midrash called it the “...brilliant light… blazing from one end of the cosmos to the other”.

Were dragons and a glowing Venus part of the same set of circumstances?

At the Mayan/Toltec ruins of Chichen Itza (Yucatan, Mexico) is “El Castle”, the pyramid of Kulkulcan / Quetzalcoatl – it is the largest and most important ceremonial structure there.


The pyramid is directionally oriented to mark the summer and winter solstices. Hence, it has often been erroneously labelled the Pyramid of the Sun, despite obviously being dedicated to Kulkulcan, the feathered serpent.

Although the original structure dates back to about 600 CE, successions of new temples were built upon previous ones through until the 13th. Rising to a height of ninety feet the pyramid features many numbers important to the Maya. Each of its four-faces has a stairway with ninety-one steps (91×4 = 364). Adding the top platform gives us the number of days in the solar year. The faces incorporate 18 terraces, one for each month in the Mayan religious year, and 52 panels – every 52 years the Maya feared that the world would end.
At sunset of the vernal and autumnal equinoxes an interesting effect can be viewed, as witnessed by Graham Hancock:

“By about 5.15 in the evening it was clear what was happening. So skilfully was this magnificent pyramid aligned to the trajectory of the setting equinoctial sun that it had been possible for the ancient builders to contrive a pattern of light and shadow on the western side of the northern stairway. Very gradually, as the minutes ticked by and the sun fell lower in the sky, this pattern, which was projected by the north-western corner of the pyramid, gained in shape and substance. By around 5.30 p.m., it had manifested itself fully as a gigantic undulating serpent with seven coils of shadow defined by seven triangles of light. The tail of the serpent reached the top platform of the pyramid, with its body extending down the balustrade all the way to the ground where a huge sculpted serpent’s head with gaping jaws completed the illusion at the base of the stairway.”



Elaborate panels and stone carvings featuring images of serpents appear all over the pyramid.
The association between cosmos, snakes, catastrophes and cultural deities continues.
Thunderbird and Dragon Legend
Did fire breathing dragons ever exist? Fire breathing dragons are described in ancient legends from all over the world and are even described in the Bible. That no modern reptile can perform such a feat does not necessarily mean that none ever existed.


Various creation scientists have proposed very interesting and distinctly plausible mechanisms by which a dragon or dinosaur-like creature might actually have been able to breathe fire. While fossils do not tell us for sure whether these creatures could actually breathe fire, examples such as the bombardier beetle show the Creator's wisdom and ability to design wonderfully complex biological mechanisms to accomplish all sorts of amazing feats.


Legends of fire-breathing dragons have fascinated people for centuries and appear in cultures all over the world throughout history. Fire-breathing dragons exist in artwork and literature, but is it possible that they also existed in real life? Nearly all cultures have dragon legends,

although they had no contact with each other, and the Bible even speaks of the fire breathing Leviathan.

It seems possible that all these legends might have been based on a real creature, specifically a dragon or dinosaur-like creature that had biological mechanisms which allowed it to breathe fire.

One Native American tale talks about the Fire Dragon. According to legend, the "Chief of All the Earth" fell in love with a young woman named Ataentsic.



After passing several tests, she entered heaven, where she joined the “Chief of All the Earth” as his bride. However, the chief thought that the child she bore belonged to the Fire Dragon, and he cast both mother and child from heaven. They fell to Earth, where they began the human race.
The Gaasyendietha exists in the legends of the Seneca people. It could shoot fire from its mouth and was also said to travel across the heavens in a stream of fire. For this reason it is also called the “meteor-fire dragon.” This fire dragon was said to live in the depths of rivers and lakes.

Many Native American peoples have stories of Thunderbirds, massive reptilian birds that were said to bring thunder when they flapped their wings and to shoot lightning out of their mouths. These birds were very large, with fearsome beaks and claws. Their huge size led to obviously exaggerated legends of Thunderbirds that plucked live whales out of the sea.


One story describes a Thunderbird that fell to the earth as follows:
"The people shuddered as they looked at the monster’s skeleton. The bird had fallen so hard they thought, that its bones were partly sunk in the rock. But the warriors could see that its wingspread was as big as four tall men standing on top of one another. The strange creature had fierce claws on its wings, as well as on its feet, and the beak was long and sharp. There was a long, bony crest on its head. The people knew that they had never seen a bird like it before.”

The description of the Thunderbirds matches that of some type of pterosaur,


possibly a pteranodon.
In Illinois, the Illini Indians tell a similar story of the Piasa (the "bird that devours man"). This giant bird preyed on large game animals and even people until one day the Illini Chief came up with a plan to kill it. 

He stood out where the Piasa could see him, and when it swooped down to grab him, twenty warriors emerged from the bushes and killed the Piasa. John Russell, a writer, later entered the cave where the Piasa lived and found it covered with a "mass of human bones".


Mayan relief sculptures, figurines from Acambaro, Mexico, and Ica stones from Peru all show similar pictures of lizard-like creatures with wings. These pictures strongly resemble the pterosaur class of dinosaurs.

Here's a bit of news from Stanford University in California.

Stanford Fossil Historian Links Dinosaur Bones to Mythological Creatures

BY

HUMANITIES AT STANFORD

October 2, 2008

Many paleontologists today believe there are connections between the mythological dragons that ancient peoples believed in and the human discovery of dinosaur fossils.

Adrienne Mayor, a Stanford visiting scholar who researches both folklore and fossils supports that theory and has written two books which explore those connections.

When The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, the largest children’s museum in the U.S., needed an expert to help them link creatures of the imagination to real dinosaur fossils for a new exhibit, they called on Mayor for her unique expertise.

The new exhibit, "Dragons Unearthed," features a 66-million-year-old, first-of-its-kind, dragon-like dinosaur, called Dracorex. There’s no denying that Dracorex’s long muzzle and spiky horns conjure up visions of a magical beast, but the museum needed an expert to confirm that it wasn’t a coincidence that Dracorex looked more like a dragon than a dinosaur.



With her extensive studies of ancient cultures’ conceptions of fossils as evidence of dragons, Mayor’s expertise proved to be exactly what museum curators needed. Mayor was asked to share her thoughts on Dracorex, named Dracorex hogwartsia in honor of children’s author J.K. Rowling.

“The shape of the dinosaur’s skull, with its long muzzle, bizarre knobs and horns, surprised the scientists,” she said. “But the skull looks strangely familiar to anyone who has studied dragons! Dracorex has a remarkable resemblance to the dragons of ancient China and medieval Europe.”

Mayor, a scholar of Classics and History of Science, has spent years looking at the link between paleontological findings and the dragon myths that populated many ancient and medieval religions and cultures and survive even today. Mayor’s latest publication, Fossil Legends of the First Americans, correlates Native American myths with the fossils they are known or presumed to have observed.

Mayor combined her keen interest in paleontology with an abundance of long-forgotten literary, artistic and paleontological evidence to support her thesis that at least some of the fantastic mythological monsters were based on paleontological realities.

According to Mayor, Sioux People who found a skull like that of Dracorex might have identified it as “Unktehi,”


the mythical horned water monster of the South Dakota Badlands, where the fossil was unearthed. She continued, “Dracorex helps us understand how fossils of mysterious, extinct animals may have inspired ancient people around the world to believe that dragons and other fabulous creatures once lived. Like modern paleontologists, fossil hunters in antiquity tried to imagine the appearance and behavior of the creatures whose bones they found.”

Adrienne Mayor is an independent scholar who investigates scientific realities embedded in myth and classical antiquity. Her research looks at ancient "folk science" precursors, alternatives, and parallels to modern scientific methods. Mayor's books, The First Fossil Hunters: Paleontology in Greek and Roman Times and Fossil Legends of the First Americans opened a new field within geomythology. She is active in classical folklore, and is an independent scholar in Stanford’s Classics Department and the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology Program.

Dragons Unearthed, which opened at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis on September 18th, 2008, highlights information that helps to explain how fossils of mysterious, extinct animals may have inspired ancient people around the world to believe that dragons and other fabulous creatures once lived. Many paleontologists today believe there might be a link between the mythological creatures ancient peoples believed to be dragons and the discovery of dinosaur fossils.

Dragons Unearthed is a family-friendly, art-based exhibit centered that explores the mythology behind dragons using true dinosaur facts
.


Thank you very much for visiting blog my dear friends and I hope that you have found these Native American legend of the dragons an interesting topic to read. 

Please feel free to comment or leave any suggestions and requests you may have and I will do what ever I can to come up something on any requested topics. Have a beautiful day

With love from your Fairy Lady ♥❤





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