Weird Folklores

Folklore (or lore) composed of legends, oral history, popular beliefs, fairy tales, tall tales, stories, music, jokes, proverbs and customs and cultural traditions, group or subculture and practices category of artistic, musical, or literary composition. Folkloristics is called sometimes the study of folklore and continuous extent between mythology and folklore.  In four areas of study the folklore can be divided such as the artifact like the voodoo dolls, rituals behavior, cultures and oral tradition of describable and transmissible entity, in which these areas don’t  stand alone, however, as often a particular item or element may fit into more than one of these areas. Folklore can consist of religious or mythic elements, that concerns itself with the sometimes related to traditions of everyday life. “Folktales” is a general term for different varieties of traditional narrative. “Hansel and Gretel” is one example of famous folklore.

Grimm Brothers collected famous folklores

Grimm Brothers collected famous folklores

The Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm or the Brothers Grimm, were Germanic academics, linguists, authors and cultural researchers and collected folklore together. The Grimm brothers, are one of among the most well-known storytellers of folk tales in Europe, and their work became famous and known such as Cinderella or Aschenputtel, Der Froschkonig or The Frog Prince, Hänsel und Gretel or Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel, Rumpelstilzchen or Rumpelstiltskin and Schneewittchen or Snow White.

Rapunzel Dresden in Saxony, Germany

Rapunzel Dresden in Saxony, Germany

1) Urban Legend

Spider Bite Urban Legend,Newly hatched Araneus diadematus

Spider Bite Urban Legend,Newly hatched Araneus diadematus

The modern “urban legend” of the folklore  The Spider Bite or The Red Spot that emerged in Europe during the 1970s, featuring a young woman who is bitten by a spider on the cheek. The bite swells into a large boil and soon bursts open to reveal hundreds of tiny spiders escaping from her cheek.

Clinton Road, New Jersey, a subject of local folklore and ghost stories

Clinton Road, New Jersey, a subject of local folklore and ghost stories

The haunted highway or roads such as the Clinton Road in New Jersey, is an American folklore  of “ghosts stories” referring to streets, roads or highways which are the subject of folklore and urban legends, including rumors and reports of ghostly apparitions, ghostly figures, phantom vehicles and phantom hitchhikers or other paranormal phenomena.

Devil's Pool as seen from its lookout

Devil’s Pool as seen from its lookout

An aboriginal urban legend and said to be cursed place known as the  Devil’s Pool near Babinda in Far North Queensland. The dangers are held to be geographical, but Babinda locals and the local tribes people generally believe and recount the legend of an Aboriginal woman’s curse on the waterhole.

2) American folklore

The skvader, an example of a tall tale hunting story.

The skvader, an example of a tall tale hunting story.

The Swedish fictional folklore creature called the skvader was ‘composed’ by the taxidermist Rudolf Granberg in 1918. It has the forequarters and hind-legs of a Lepus or hare, and the back, wings and tail of a female Tetrao urogallus or wood grouse.  A story with unbelievable plots, related as if it were true and factual is called the tall tale. Some stories are exaggerated of the actual events. Other tall tales are completely fictional tales set in a familiar setting, such as the European countryside, American Old West and Canadian Northwest or the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. The line between myth and tall tale is characterized commonly by age, cultures or customs and some of this myths are exaggerate to exploit their heroes, but in tall tales the exaggeration looms large, to the extent of becoming the whole of the story.

Statue of Johnny Kaw in Manhattan, Kansas

Statue of Johnny Kaw in Manhattan, Kansas

Johnny Kaw is a Kansas settler myth and the subject of a many Paul Banyan tall tales about the settling of the territory. Johnny Kaw created the Kansas landscape, geography and pioneer trails. Johnny Kaw according to folklore dug the Kansas River Valley, planted wheat, “invented” sunflowers, and grown giant potatoes, controlled the weather, lopping the funnels off tornadoes and wringing out the clouds to end droughts.

Paul Bunyan in Akeley, Minnesota.

Paul Bunyan in Akeley, Minnesota.

Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox statue in Bemidji, Minnesota.

Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox statue in Bemidji, Minnesota.

Paul Bunyan is a North American lumberjack figure folklore and tradition. One of the most famous and popular North American folklore heroes, he is usually described as a giant as well as a lumberjack of unusual skill, and is often accompanied in stories by his animal companion, Babe the Blue Ox.

3) Latin American Folklore

Cucafera det arragona

Cucafera de Tarragona

The Coco (or Cuco; Coca; Cuca; Cucuy) is a mythical ghost-monster equivalent to the bogeyman, commonly found in many Lusophone and Hispanic countries and Hispanic version of a “bugbear”. Coca is a female dragon of the medieval times, in the Iberian Peninsula, used to take part in different celebrations. She is called Saint Coca or Santa Coca or Coca rabixa the Tailed Coca and if she defeats Saint George, by scaring the horse, there will be a bad year for the crops and famine, if the horse and Saint George win by cutting off one of her ears with earring and her tongue, the crops will be fertile. The supernatural, menacing old hag does evil things to small children who goes to bed late at night, and known as Cuca.

Trauco wicked ugly wife Fiura

Trauco wicked ugly wife Fiura

In the traditional Chiloe Chilota mythology, a small stature creature humanoid with dwarf or goblin like features called Trauco who lives in the deep forests. The Trauco is described having an ugly face, and legs without feet, with a powerful magnetism that attracts young and middle-aged women. According to myth, the Trauco’s wife is the wicked and ugly Fiura. The Trauco carries a small hatchet stone-headed that he uses to strike trees in the forest to symbolize his sexual potency, and whoever the Trauco chooses will go to him, even if she is sleeping, and fall enraptured at his feet. No woman can resist his magical attraction and will make love to him. Men of Chiloé fear the Trauco, as his gaze can be deadly. When a single woman is pregnant and no one steps forward as the father, people assume that the Trauco is the father, because the Trauco is irresistible, and can not blame any woman to have unwanted pregnancies especially the unmarried women, and the Trauco have to explain.

4)  Australian folklore

Bunyip 1890

Bunyip 1890

Bunyip (1935)

Bunyip (1935)

The bunyip, or kianpraty is an Aboriginal mythology of a large mythical creature, said to lurk in billabongs, swamps, riverbeds, waterholes and creeks. The bunyip word origin has been traced to the Wemba-Wemba or Wergaia language of South-Eastern Australia Aboriginal people, and commonly translated as evil spirit or devil.

Rainbow Serpent Australian aboriginal folklore

Rainbow Serpent Australian aboriginal folklore

The Rainbow Serpent is a common art and mythology motif of Aboriginal Australia, named after the snake-like meandering of water across a landscape and the spectrum color caused when sunlight strikes water at an appropriate angle relative to the observer. Sometimes known as the unpredictable Rainbow Serpent who strive with the ever-reliable Sun, to complete the stores of water, forming gullies and deep channels as it glides across the landscape, that allows the distribution of waters and collection.

Yowie statue Kilcoy, Queensland

Yowie statue Kilcoy, Queensland

  The unidentified hominid is called the Yowie reputed to lurk in the Australian wilderness. The Yowie is an Australian cryptid same as the Himalayan Yeti and the North American Bigfoot. The Yowie origins, also known as Yowie-Whowie and yahoo may lie in a native Australian Aboriginal folklore’s mythological character. The Yowie legend and characteristics  are sometimes interchangeable with the bunyip. According to Aboriginal mythology the Yowie is characterized as a giant beast, resembling a cross between a lizard and an ant, and emerges during the night from the ground to eat whatever it can find, including human beings, but settles during daytime.

Tulilautta or  will-o'-the-wisp

Tulilautta or will-o’-the-wisp

A ghostly light seen by many people during the night, over the swamps, bogs or marshes is known as the “foolish fire”, ignis fatuus or the will-o’-the-wisp. It looks like a flickering lamp and is said to recede if approached, drawing travelers from the safe paths. A common folk belief well attested in English folklore and the European folklore, the phenomenon is known by a variety of names, including hinkypunk, hobby lantern, jack-o’-lantern. In Central Australia this unexplained light is known as the Min Min Light,the name given to an unusual formation of light that has been reported several times in eastern Australia.

5) Chinese folklore

Indochinese Green Magpie

Indochinese Green Magpie

Taiwan Blue Magpie

Taiwan Blue Magpie

The story of Qi Xi, also known as the Story of the Magpie Bridge or the Story of Cowherd and the Weaving Maid, which tells how the Altair and Vega stars came to their places in the sky. Qixi Festival , “The Night of Sevens“, also known as Magpie Festival, falls on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month on the lunar calendar, and inspired Tabanata in Japan, Chisi in Taiwan, Chilseok in Korea, and Nguu Lang Chuc Nu in Vietnam, and sometimes been called since 1990s Chinese Valentine’s Day, which in strictly speaking, an inaccurate portrait of the festival. Girls traditionally demonstrate their domestic arts, especially melon carving , on this day and make wishes for a good husband.

The Moon Goddess of Chang'e (Shi Yu)

The Moon Goddess of Chang’e (Shi Yu)

The original name as Heng’e or Heng-O, was changed to avoid conflict in name with Emperor Wen of Han to Chang’e or Chang-O, is the Moon Chinese goddess. Unlike many lunar deities in other cultures who personify the Moon, Chang’e only lives on the Moon. Chang’e in Chinese Mythology is the subject of several legends, most of which incorporate several of the following elements such as the Archer Houvi, a malevolent or benevolent emperor, the Moon and an elixir of life.

6) Japanese folklore

Namahage Japanese folklore

Namahage Japanese folklore

 The traditional Japanese folklore, a demon-like creature called Namahage, portrayed by men wearing over-sized ogre masks and traditional straw mino capes, during a New Year’s ritual of the Akita Prefecture Oga Peninsula area in northern Honshu, Japan. The frightfully dressed men, armed with Deba bōchō or deba knives, (albeit fake ones that are wooden or made of paper-mache and toting a teoke marching in pairs or threes going door-to-door making rounds of peoples’ homes, admonishing children who may be guilty of laziness or bad attitude, shouting phrases in local Japanese dialect such as “Are there any crybabies around?”  or “Are there naughty kids around?”

A statue of a red oni wielding a kanabō.

A statue of a red oni wielding a kanabō.

  The Japanese folklore creatures known as Oni, translated in different meanings  as devils, demons, ogres or trolls. They are popular characters in Japanese literature, theater and art.  The Oni‘s depictions vary widely but usually portray them as hideous, gigantic ogre-like creatures with sharp claws, two long horns growing from their head and wild hair. They are humanoid for the most part, but occasionally, they are shown with unnatural features such as odd numbers of eyes or extra fingers and toes. Their skin may be any number of colors, but red and blue are particularly common. They are often depicted wearing tiger-skin loincloths  and carrying kanabō iron clubs, spiked or knobbed club or truncheon used in feudal Japan.

Akabeko from Wakamatsu

Akabeko from Wakamatsu

Akabeko the red cow is a traditional toy from the region of Aizu of Japan, the toy is made from two pieces of “papier-mache’ covered wood, shaped and painted to look like a red cow or ox. The red cow was called akabeko beko is Aizu dialect for cow,   and became a symbol of zealous devotion to the Buddha. In the same period, Japan suffered a smallpox outbreak. People in Aizu noticed that children who owned akabeko toys did not seem to catch the illness. The red color of the  akabeko may have enhanced this association, since red amulets are thought to protect against that illness. The red Akabeko toys became very popular as charms to ward off illness.

Momotarō doll

Momotarō doll

Momotarō is a Japanese folklore popular hero. His name Taro, a common Japanese boy’s name literally means Peach Tarō, it is often translated as Peach Boy. Momotarō is also the title of various books, films, and other works that portray the tale of this hero.

Okiagari-koboshi from Aizuwakamatsu, Fukushima

Okiagari-koboshi from Aizuwakamatsu, Fukushima

The Japanese traditional doll is popularly known as Okiagari-koboshi or Okiagari-kobōshi. The toy is made from papier-mache and is designed return to an upright position if it is knocked over, because of its weight. The Okiagari-koboshi is considered a good-luck charm and a symbol of perseverance and ability to recover quickly from illness, change, or misfortune. The Okiagari-koboshi, is a legless bottom-loaded doll that rights itself to stand.

Miharu-goma

Miharu-goma

 The angular, brightly colored wooden toy horse called Miharu-goma, manufactured in Miharu Province, Japan. The Miharu-goma toys have their origins in a legend concerning Sakanoue no Tamuramaro, in which he received help from a magical wooden horse. Because the original toys being carved from offcuts of Buddhist images, the Miharu-goma have always had superstitions attached to them, and said to be able to carry messages to the gods on behalf of petitioners.

7) Korea Folklore

Korean mask dance, Songpa sandaenori

Korean mask dance, Songpa sandaenori

Songpa Sandae Noli is a Korean traditional type of mask type called Sandae noli play which has been handed down in the Songpa-dong and Garak-dong neighborhoods in modern-day Seoul, South Korea. The mask dance Sandae Noli that developed in Seoul and the mid of metropolitan region. The Songpa Sandae Noli starts with a cheerful parade called georigut or gilnori as circling around the Songpa Market attracting people with their performance and the nearby town. The literal terms which means street performance and street shamanistic ritual. During the parade, they wore masks and costumes, and played the gilgunak a type of marching music. After the parade, they wish everyone in the market to have good health and fortune and used an amulet to ward off misfortune.

Korean mask dance Talchum

Korean mask dance Talchum

Korea Andong, Hahoe Folk Village

Korea Andong, Hahoe Folk Village

 Another Korean dance called Talchum performed while wearing a mask, miming, speaking and even sometimes singing or chanting. The Talchum basic themes are ritual dances, biting satire, parody of human weakness, social evils, exorcism rites, and the privileged class. Appealing to the audiences by ridiculing apostate Buddhist monks, decadent upper class-men, and shamans. And one famous theme is the conflict between an old wife and a seductive concubine.

8) European Folklore  

Krampus Morzger Pass Salzburg

Krampus Morzger Pass Salzburg

In the Alpine countries a mythical creature called the Krampus, a weird and famous Alpine folklore. Based on legends and folkloric stories, the Krampus accompanies Saint Nicholas during the Christmas holidays, giving warning to children and punished bad children, in contrast to Saint Nicholas , giving gifts to good children. According to folklore, the if the Krampus finds a particular naughty child, the krampus  stuffs the child in its sack and carries the frightened child away to its lair, presumably to eat up greedily for its Christmas dinner.

Perchta or Berchta mask

Perchta or Berchta mask

Perchta or Berchta in English, Bertha, also commonly known as Percht and other variations, was once known as a goddess in paganism in Southern Germany in the Alpine countries. The name Perchta, Berchta, Bertha or Percht name means “the bright one” or beraht, bereht in Old High German or brehtaz in Proto-Germanic and is probably related to the name Berchtentag, meaning the Feast of Epiphany . Perchta is often identified as Holda, Germanic goddess and other female figures of German folklore.

9) Befana  Italian Folklore

Befane, or the Three Befane with their brooms.

Befane, or the Three Befane with their brooms.

While in Italy, the name Perchta is equivalent with La Befana, who visits all the children of Italy on the night before January 6 to fill their socks of “good children” with candy or a lump of coal if they are bad children. The Befana in the Italian folklore is an old woman who delivers gifts on Epiphany Eve to children throughout Italy (the night of January 5) in a similar way to Saint Nicholas or Santa Claus. She is usually described as an old lady riding a broomstick through the air wearing a black shawl and is covered in fine black particles, chiefly composed of carbon or coals, because she enters the children’s houses through the chimney. The Befana is seen often smiling and carries a bag or hamper filled with candy, gifts, and toys.

Rauhnächte or Twelfth Night Tradition

Rauhnächte or Twelfth Night Tradition

 In Alsace, Switzerland and Liechtenstein an Alemannic holiday known as the Berchtoldstag or near the New Year’s Day during the Rauhnachte or the Twelfth Night, a festival in some branches of Christianity marking the approaching Feast of Epiphany and the concluding Twelve Days of Christmas in Switzerland celebrated always on January 2, with the status of a public holiday in a number of cantons.

Knecht Ruprecht (on the left) and St. Nicholas

Knecht Ruprecht (on the left) and St. Nicholas

Knecht Ruprecht, translated as Farmhand Rupert or Servant Rupert, is Saint Nicholas’ companion as described in the Germanic folklore. He first appears in written sources in the 17th century, as a figure in a Nuremberg Christmas procession. In Germany the common name for the Devil is Ruprecht

Gallen Kallela Lemminkainens Mother, Tounela, land of the dead

Gallen Kallela Lemminkainens Mother, Tounela, land of the dead

  In the Estonian mythology, the underworld and realm of the dead in Finnish folklore is called the Tuonela. The  Tuonela, Tuoni, Manala and Mana are used having the same or a similar meaning. It is called Toonela or Manala in Estonian mythology. But  Tuonela is best known for its appearance in the Finnish national epic Kalevala. 

Ekman Vainamoinen, Kalevala epic finnish folklore

Ekman Vainamoinen, Kalevala epic finnish folklore

The central character in the Finnish folklore and the main character in Kalevala national epic is known as the Väinämöinen. His name comes from the Finnish word väinämö, which means minstrel which is  Finnish god originally, and he was described as an old and wise man, and he possessed a potent, magical voice.

Pied Piper of Hamelin, Gruss aus Hamelin 1902

Pied Piper of Hamelin, Gruss aus Hamelin 1902

The Pied Piper leads the children out of Hamelin

The Pied Piper leads the children out of Hamelin

The Pied Piper of Hamelin is a legend and a famous folklore and the subject that concerns the “death of a many children from the Hamelin or Hameln town, Lower Saxony, Germany, during the Middle Ages. The Piper was described, dressed in pied multicolored clothing, leading the children away from the town and never return. During the 16th century the story was expanded into a full narrative, in which the piper is a rat-catcher hired by the town to lure rats away with his magic pipe. But after the Piper lead the rats to the river to drown, the people refused to pay for this service, and the piper retaliates by turning his magic on their children, leading them away as he had done to the rats. This version of the story spread as a fairy tale.

egg of Columbus monument

egg of Columbus monument

An egg of Columbus or Columbus’s egg refers to an expression and brilliant idea or popular story of Christopher Columbus discovery that seems simple or easy after the fact, that “discovering the Americas” was not a great accomplishment, challenged his critics to make an egg stand on its tip. After his challengers gave up, Columbus did it himself by tapping the egg on the table so as to flatten its tip.

10) Russian Folklore and Ukrainian Folklore

Baba Yaga or Baba Roga

Baba Yaga or Baba Roga

Baba Yaga or Baba Roga is a hag or wise old woman or kind of fairy or goddess, also known by different other names, in Slavic folklore. According to tales, the Baba Yaga flies around on a giant mortar, then kidnap and presumably eat the small children and lives in a hut standing on chicken legs. In most Slavic tales, she is portrayed as an antagonist (one who opposes and contends against another) however, some mythological characters in other stories, and have been known to seek her out for her wisdom, and she has been known on rare occasions to offer guidance to lost souls, or fulfill the donor function.

The Princess Who Never Smiled

The Princess Who Never Smiled

  In a Russian fairy tale, one famous folklore is the The Princess Who Never Smiled or The Unsmiling Tsarevna. The tale is about a princess who never smiled or laughed, that made her King father to promised that whoever made her daughter smile or laugh, the successful will marry the princess. Just across the town, an honest worker worked hard for his master, and at the end of the year, the master put a sack of money before the worker and told him to take as much as he wanted. But the worker only took one coin, but accidentally dropped the coin into the well when he went to drink water. The next year, again the master gave him a sack of coin and again he took same amount of coin, but kept it well to avoid losing it again. When he drank from the well the two coind he lost the previous years floated. He then decided to see the world, and as he was walking, a mouse asked for alms, and he gave one coin, then he did the same to the beetle and the catfish. Until he came to the castle and saw the princess staring at him and this frightened him, and he fell in the mud. The mouse, the beetle, and the catfish came  to help him, and because of their antics, the princess laughed. The princess pointed him out as the man, and when he was brought into the castle, and soon he was cleaned up, he had turned into a handsome man. The honest worker, now a handsome man, married the princess.

Gamaun or Gamayun

Gamaun or Gamayun

Alkonost, body of a bird but the head of a beautiful woman

Alkonost, body of a bird but the head of a beautiful woman

In the Russian folklore, a weird prophetic bird known as the  Gamayun, is a symbol of wisdom and knowledge and lives on an island in the east, close to paradise. Compared to the Sirin, a woman of the Slavic folktales and legends from pre-patriarchal teachings and the creature with a bird’s body and beautiful woman’s head called the Alkonost the Gamayun  is normally depicted as a large bird with a woman’s head.

11)   Spanish Folklore

Tartalo

Tartalo

In Basque mythology, a one eyed-giant who is enormously strong called the Tartalo is very similar to the Greco-Roman Cyclops. The name is speculated that it may derive from the Greek underworld Tartaros, dwelling in caves in the mountains and catches young people in order to eat them. He also eats sheep. It is known as Alarabi, in Biscay. Some story about him that the Tartalo appears to derived from the Odyssey. 

Basajaun

Basajaun

The Basajaun in Basque mythology or the “Basajaunak” in plural form, described as a huge, hairy creature dwelling in the woods who protects the flocks of livestock and teaches skills such iron work and agriculture to people. The “wild man of the woods” is referred to as the Basajaun and Basandere, the female version.

Ahari Ahari taldekoa or The Akelarre

Ahari Ahari taldekoa or The Akelarre

Akelarre cave

Akelarre cave

Akelarre is the Basque term meaning sabbat, ritual meeting of witches or coven.  It is also found in Spanish vocabulary with aquelarre spelling, and the place where Basque witches hold their rituals and meetings. The large cave of Zugarramurdi, Navarre is known as the Akelarrenlezea. The witches actually meet outside the cave in the Berroskoberro place. Some people say according to folktales, that the goat talked to its worshippers from a hole in the stone outside the cave, and inside the cave known as the cave of the witches. 

12)   Swiss folklore

Fastnacht

Fastnacht

Swabian–Alemannic Fastnach,  Hopfenarr from Tettnang

Swabian–Alemannic Fastnach, Hopfenarr from Tettnang

The Swabian–Alemannic Fastnacht is the pre-Lenten Alemannic carnival folklore in Switzerland, Alsace, Western Austria and southern Germany. It is also known as Fasnacht Day in parts of Pennsylvania Dutch Country and is celebrated on the day before Ash Wednesday, which is the last Tuesday before Lent.

13)    Middle East Folklore

Aladdin genie

Aladdin genie

The supernatural spirits mentioned in Quran and Islamic mythology inhabiting the unseen world in dimensions beyond the visible human universe is called the jinn also spelled djinn, or genies.Together, the humans, angels and jinn make up the three sentient God creations. The Quran mentioned that the jinn are made of a smokeless jinn, and “scorching fire” and they have the physical property of weight.Like human beings, the jinn can also be good, evil, or neutrally benevolent, and in Arabic literal meaning as hidden from sight

14)  Iran Folklore

Hājji Firuz or Hajji Piruz

Hājji Firuz or Hajji Piruz

 The traditional herald of Nowruz or the Iranian New Year is called the Hājji Firuz or Hajji Piruz. He oversees celebrations for the new year perhaps as a remnant of the ancient Zoroastrian fire-keeper. His face is covered in ” black carbon ashes” and he is clad in bright red clothes and a felt hat. The Hajji Firuz or “fire keeper” plays the tambourine while ushering in Nowruz, and sings “Hāji Firuz-e, sal-i-ye ruz-e” (It is Hāji Firuz time, It happens one day in a year). People of all ages gather around him and his troupe of musicians and listen to them play the saz, kamancheh or drum, and dance through the streets with tambourines and trumpets spreading good cheer and the news of the coming New Year. Hāji Firuz is believed to be based in a tradition called “Mir-Norowzi”. Mir-Norowzi also called Panjeh,  was a comical figure chosen to rule the municipality for the last five days of the year.

15)   Turkish Folklore

Nasreddin Hodja in Ankara

Nasreddin Hodja in Ankara

The famous Turkish folklore was a figure of the Seljuq satricial Sufi, called the Nasreddin, sometimes believed to have lived around the 13th century or during the Middle Ages and considered a populist philosopher and wise man, remembered for his anecdotes (short account of an interesting or humorous incident) and  funny stories. He appears in thousands of stories, sometimes witty, sometimes wise, but often, too, a fool or the butt of a joke. A Nasreddin story usually has a subtle humor and a message that have lesson to learn from the story or event orpedagogic nature. The International Nasreddin Hodja fest is celebrated annually in Aksehir, Turkey,  between July 5 to 10.

16)   Indian Foklore

Indra as depicted in Yakshagana, popular folk art of Karnataka

Indra as depicted in Yakshagana, popular folk art of Karnataka

In Hindu mythology, the heaven, the Lord of Svargaloka and the leader of the Devas or gods is known Indra or Sakra, the chief Rigveda deities. He is the God of war, the god of thunderstorms with his weapon called the bolt or vajra. He is the twin brother of Agni and said to be born of Father Heaven or Dyaus Pitar and Mother Earth or Prithvi Matar, He is also mentioned as son of Aditi and an Aditya, and his home is found on Mount Meru. 

Garuda, Delhi India

Garuda, Delhi India

Garuda murthi in West Bengal, India

Garuda murthi in West Bengal, India

The Garuda in Sanskrit it means “eagle”,  a large mythical bird or bird-like creature that appears in both Hindu and Buddhist mythology and India’s folklore. Garuda is the Hindu name for the Aquila constellation, Phoenix and the Brahminy kite are considered to be the contemporary representations of Garuda. Indonesia adopts a more stylistic approach to the Garuda’s depiction as its national symbol, where it depicts as a larger than a kite, the Javanese Eagle. 

MASURA or Mahishasura

MASURA or Mahishasura

Durga is worshiped in her Mahishasuramardini form, during Durga Puja

Durga is worshiped in her Mahishasuramardini form, during Durga Puja

In Hindu mythology, the asura in known as the , MahishasuraRambha was the king of the asuras and the father of Mahishashura, who once fell in love with a cursed Princess Shyamala who turned into a water buffalo because of a curse. And out from this union, Mahishasura was born. According to folk tales, Mahishashura can able to change from human to water buffalo or Sanskrit mahisha. Durga created an army to fight against Mahishashura’s forces, who was terrorizing Heaven and Earth, according to Indian tales. After nine days of battle, Mahishashura’s forces was destroyed or killed, Durga finally killed Mahishashura on the tenth day of the “waxing of the moon”. Durga was named as the “slayer of the buffalo demon” the destroyer of Mahishashura and called Mahishasuramardini. 

17) African-American Folklore 

Eshu Eleggua mask

Eshu Eleggua mask

Èṣù and other names include Exu, Eshu Eleggua, Esu Elegbara, Eshu Elegbara, Elegba, LegbaPapa Legba and Eleda, is both an orisha and one of the most well-known Yoruba religion deities and New World traditions related. Eshu has a wide range of responsibilities as the protector of travelers, deity of roads, particularly crossroads, the deity with the power over fortune and misfortune, and the personification of death, a psychopomp or the “guide of souls”.  Èṣù is involved within the Orisha-Ifa Yorùbá religion system as well as in African diasporic faiths like Santeria/Lukumi and Candomble developed by the West Africans descendants of enslaved in the Americas, where Èṣù was and is sometimes identified with Anthony de Padua, Saint Michael or Santo Nino de Atocha,depending on the situation or location. He is often identified by the number three, and the red and black colors or white and black, and his paths or caminos are often represented carrying a cane or shepherd’s crook, as well as smoking a pipe

Papa Legba

Papa Legba

In the Haitian Vodou, Papa Legba is the intermediary between the humanity and loa, stands at a spiritual crossroads and gives or may deny permission to speak with the spirits of Guinee the world spirit, a reference to the African homeland that slaves hoped their souls might be returned to after death and is believed to speak all kinds of human languages. Papa Legba usually appears as an old man on a crutch or with a cane, wearing a broad brimmed straw hat and smoking a pipe, or sprinkling water. The dog is sacred to him. As the gate keeper,between the world of the living and the mysteries Papa Legba is often identified with Saint Peter, holding the same position in Catholic faith, and sometimes described in Haiti as St. Lazarus and St. Anthony. Papa Legba is seen as young and virile, is often horned and phallic, and his shrine is usually located at the gate of the village in the countryside in Nigeria and Benin.

18)   Scandinavian folklore

Huldra's Nymphs

Huldra’s Nymphs

In Scandinavian folklore, Huldra is characterized as a seductive forest, which her name was derived from a root meaning secret or covered. She is called as the skogsrå or skogsfru, skovfrue which means “Lady of the Forest”in Norwegian folklore. While in Swedish folklore she is known as Tallemaja or Pine tree Mary, and Ulda in Sami folklore. Her name suggests that she is originally the same being as the German Holda and the volva Huld.

Holda

Holda

The Frau Holda or Holle in Germanic folklore is the supernatural matron of childbirth, spinning and domestic animals, and is also associated with winter, witches and the wild Hunt. Her name is related in origin with Scandinavians beings known as the Huldra and the volva Huld. Frau Holda is matron of all of women’s domestic chores, but none so much as activity in spinning, an activity with strong magical connotations and links to the other world.

Mermaid

Mermaid

The legendary aquatic creature called mermaid is described with the upper body of a woman and the tail of a fish.  The Mermaids appear in many cultures folklore worldwide, including the Near East, Europe, and Asia. The first stories was heard in ancient Assyria, in which the Atargatis goddess transforms herself into a mermaid out of shame for accidentally killing her human lover. Mermaids are sometimes described as perilous creatures associated with floods, storms, shipwrecks, and drowning. In other folk traditions the mermaids can be benevolent, bestowing boons or falling in love with humans.

Three Billy Goats Gruff

Three Billy Goats Gruff

In the Norwegian folklore, a famous Norwegian fairy tale about the Three Billy Goats Gruff or De tre bukkene Bruse introduces three male goats, which the story described as the youngster, father and grandfather, but more often described as brothers. There is no grass left for them to eat near to where they live, so the three goats must cross a river to get into a meadow or hillside on the other side of a stream in order to eat and get fat. They must first cross a bridge, under which a scary troll eats anyone who passes that way. The smallest billy goat is the first to cross and is immediately stopped by the troll who threatens to devour in greedy gulps! However, the little goat convinces the troll to wait for the bigger billy goat to come across because he is larger and more gratifying as a feast. Then the greedy troll agrees and allows the smallest goat to cross. The middle goat sees that the youngest one has crossed and reaches the conclusion that the bridge must be safe after all, but is also stopped by the troll and given the same threat. The second billy goat is allowed to cross as well after he tells the troll to wait for the third and biggest billy goat because he will have the most meat. The third billy goat then crossed the bridge and is stopped by the hungry troll. Soon the troll gets up on the bridge, the third billy goat is so big that he easily throws the troll into the stream with his horns and crosses the bridge. From then on the bridge is safe, and all three goats are able to go to the rich meadows during the summer farm in the hills, and lived happily ever after. The troll was never seen again.

Kelpies

Kelpies

The supernatural water horse called kelpie, described as a strong powerful horse, from the Celtic folklore is believed to haunt the rivers and Scotland lochs and Ireland, the name may be derived from Scottish Gaelic cailpeach, colt or colpach heifer.

19)   Indonesia Folklore

Dewi Sekartaji Keong Emas

Dewi Sekartaji Keong Emas

Keong Emas the Javanese and Indonesian for Golden Snail is a popular Javanese folklore about a princess magically transformed and contained in a golden snail shell. The folklore is a part of popular Javanese Panji cycle telling the stories about the Prince Panji Asmoro Bangun or known as Raden Inu Kertapati and his consort, Princess Dewi Sekartaji, also known as Dewi Chandra Kirana.

Wayang Golek

Wayang Golek

The Wayang golek are wooden doll puppets that are operated from below by rods connected to the hands and a central control rod that runs through the body to the head. The Javanese word ‘wayang‘ means shadow. 

Panakawan

Panakawan

The Pananakawan, the friendly gestures of red faced cepot, and the long nosed petruk and with the round nose is gareng.  

20)   Philippine Folklore

Maria Makiling

Maria Makiling

In the Philippine Mythology and famous folklore known as Maria Makiling, sometimes spelled Mariang Makiling, is a lambana or diwata which means forest nymph or fairy, associated with Mount Makiling in Laguna, Philippines. According to folklore, Mount Makiling is described as profile of a woman, said to be Maria Makiling herself. This phenomenon is described as true from several different perspectives, so there is no single location associated with this claim., and the mountain’s peaks are characterized as Maria’s face, two breasts, and her hair resembles to a waterfall or a series of small waterfalls over steep rocks.

Tikbalang

Tikbalang

    The Philippine folklore creature described as half-man and half horse feature, is known as Tikbalang, Tigbalang, Tigbalan or Tikbalan, is said to lurk in the Philippines mountains and forests. It is generally described as a tall, bony humanoid creature with disproportionately long limbs, to the point that its knees reach above its head when it squats down. According to some tales the tikbalang is sometimes believed to be an aborted fetus transformed which has been sent to earth from the limbo.

Manananggal

Manananggal

The manananggal is often times confused with the wak wak or aswang is a mythical Philippines folkloric creature. Some say it resembles the Western vampire, as an evil, man-eating monster or witch. The Visayan folklore creatures, aswangs and , manananggals are also said to scare of garlic and salt, avoid daggers, light, vinegar, spices and the tail of a stingray, which can be used as whip and kill manananggal. Similar folklore creatures can be found in the neighbouring nations of Indonesia and Malaysia, which the word manananggal comes from Tagalog word tanggal, same with Malay tanggal, meaning “to remove” or to “separate”, which literally translates as “remover” or “separator”, and described as having a “severed torso”. A manananggal is described as a hideous, scary, vampire-like creature, opposed to as aswang, often depicted as female, and capable of severing its upper torso, sprout huge bat-like wings to fly into the night in search of its next victim. It is said that they mostly prey on sleeping, pregnant women, using an elongated proboscis-like tongue to suck the fetus hearts, or the blood of someone who is sleeping. The severed lower torso is left standing, and it is said to be the more vulnerable of the two halves, and pour salt and garlic to the lower torso, the manananggal can never go back to her half torso, and cause her death.

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