Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Mythic Hominids

This is a list of humanoids in myth and legend collected to place on the record.  We have several real prospects for their provenance and none at all for many.  Yet it also informs us that a good story is often just that.

What is correct is that humanoids of a hairy nature appear almost everywhere humanity is located and must be expected to be located in local reportage.

 We apparently collect only a smattering of them.  We are beginning to do better with the internet but even that is only a beginning

Traditional Humanoids: Basajaun, Tiyanak & Tikbalang - Part I


Some mythical creatures have their origin in tradition and tales from the distant past. Each culture is associated with a multitude of interesting and odd creatures...many of these beings are humanoid. This is the 1st part of the series...a compilation of traditional humanoids:

Basajaun, the Lord of the Forests

In Basque mythology, the Basajaunakare a spirit that dwells in caves or in the woods who protects flocks of livestock and teaches skills such as agriculture and ironworking to humans. They are collectively known as the 'Basajaun, the Lords of the Forests.' Fifteenth-century carvings depicting the Basajaunak can be seen in Burgos Cathedral and in the monastery of Santa María la Real in Nájera. The Basajaun also exists in Aragonese mythology in the valleys of Tena, Ansó, and Broto. There are writings about these 'simiots' of Spain's Catalunya and Upper Aragon - creatures that may well find their U.S. counterparts in the Bigfoot or Sasquatch.

These creatures are of various height (though most are very tall), completely covered in hair with a long mane that falls to the knees, and wander the Pyrenees with incredible agility. They were said to be megalith builders and became known as rural genies.

The legend says that long ago, only the Basajauns knew how to plant, harvest and mill wheat to make flour. The Basajauns kept this knowledge to themselves, but one Basque man worked out a plan to steal the secret and give it to the human race. The Basque man made a bet with the Basajauns to see who could jump over the heaps of wheat they had harvested.

The Basajauns laughed at the Basque man, because they knew that a mere human would be no competition for them, and they laughed at his big floppy shoes. They all jumped over the wheat easily, but when the Basque man tried, he landed on top of one of the heaps, and the Basajauns laughed again.

Then the Basque man laughed, and he laughed last and best, but quietly, because his trick had worked. Now, the Basajauns are big and slow-witted, but when they saw the Basque man walking away home, with his big, floppy shoes full of grains of their wheat, they realized that they had been tricked. When they stopped laughing, the Basque man began to run for his life, and it's a good thing that he did. He was already a far away when one of the Basajauns threw a hatchet. The lords of the woods may be slow, but they are strong.

The Basque man saw the hatchet coming, and he ducked behind a chestnut tree just in time, because the hatchet struck the tree and split it in half. Now the Basque man had the seeds, but he didn't know when was the right time of the year to sow them. Fortunately, a man was passing by the cave of one of the Basajauns, and he heard him singing:

"If the humans knew this song
They'd be well informed.
When the leaf is in the bud
Then you sow the corn.
When the leaf falls off the trees
Then you sow the wheat.
When the February feast comes round
Sow the turnip in the ground."

The man told the Basque man what he heard, and the Basque man told all the humans, and that is how cultivation spread through the world.

Another part of the legend states that the Basajaun is the protective spirit of the flocks. It shouts in the mountains when a storm approaches so that the shepherds may withdraw their sheep. By lurking around a pen or its surroundings, it keeps the wolves from approaching. The Basajaun's presence is announced by the sheep who, shaking, and ring the bells around their necks. Thus the shepherds can go to sleep in peace, knowing that during that night or that day the wolves, great enemies of the flocks, will not come to bother them.

Modern day livestock farmers in Valcarlos and Ondorrola are fully convinced of this creature's existence. In testimony from an interview, an elder stated that he would receive visits from the Basajauns at his homestead, but never knew why. They had not visited him for a long time. Another eyewitness account mentions a sighting of a young Basajaun basking in the sun at the opening to the Mailuxe cave, and then added description of this creature as being blond.

In June 1993, a group of cave explorers allegedly encountered a Basajaun-like creature in the ruins of a church in the Catalan Pyrenees of Spain. The 'wild man' was described as standing 5 ft. tall and bulky, covered in shaggy hair and made a sound that resembled an enraged cat. A few months later, two paleontologists were reported to have been jumped by two large, hairy humanoids while conducting research in the Ripoll forests of Gerona Province, Catalonia region of Spain.


Tiyanak, the Demon Child

Tiyanak (Demon Child) or impaktoare creatures which, in Philippine mythology, imitate the form of a child. It usually takes the form of a newborn baby and cries like one in the jungle to attract unwary travelers. Once it is picked up by the victim, it reverts to its true form and attacks the victim. Aside from slashing victims, the tiyanak also delights in leading travelers astray or in kidnapping children.

Some say the tiyanak are babies who died before receiving baptism rites. After death, they go to a place known as Limbo, a chamber of Hell where unbaptized dead people fall into and transform into evil spirits. These phantoms return into the mortal realm in the form of goblins to eat living victims. The tiyanak can also be the offspring between a demon and a human or an aborted fetus, which comes to life to take revenge on its mother.

There are several versions of Tiyanak physical descriptions and activity. This mythical creature are also sometimes related to a Malaysian folkloric creature called Pontianak which is, according to Malay folklore, a woman who died during delivery or childbirth.

The Pontianak - in Malay folklore, it usually announces its presence through baby cries or assumes the form of a beautiful lady and frightens or kills those unlucky enough to come too close. It disguises itself as a beautiful young woman mainly to attract its victim (usually male). Its presence can sometimes be detected by a nice floral fragrance, followed by an awful stench afterward

According to folklore, one can bewilder the creature and break loose from the enchantment of its cries by turning his clothes inside out. The legend has it that Tiyanaks find this method laughable and would just leave the victim alone. Some say that repellents like garlic and the rosary can also drive the tiyanak away.


Tikbalang, the Demon Horse

The Tikbalang (many different spellings are used - translates as 'demon horse') is a creature of Philippine folklore said to lurk in the mountains and forests of the Philippines. 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. It has the head and feet of an animal, most commonly a horse. It has been compared to the half-man, half-horse centaur from Greek mythology. It travels at night to rape female mortals who will then give birth to more Tikbalang. It is sometimes believed to be a transformation of an aborted fetus which has been sent to earth from limbo.

Tikbalangs are very playful with people, and they usually make a person imagine things that aren't real. Sometimes a Tikbalang will drive a person crazy. Legends say that when rain falls while the sun is shining, a pair of Tikbalangs are being wed. Since horses only arrived in the Philippine archipelago during the Spanish invasion, there is a theory that the image of a half-horse, half-man creature was propagated by the conquistadors to keep the natives afraid of the night. There are stories claiming that the Tikbalang are actually half-bird, half-man creatures, much like the JapaneseTengu.

A traveler who finds himself lost and suspects that a Tikbalang is leading him astray may counteract it by wearing his shirt inside out. Another countermeasure is to verbally ask permission to pass by, or to avoid making too much noise while in the woods so as not to offend or disturb the Tikbalang.

Folklore says that one can tame a Tikbalang and compel it to be one's servant by plucking three golden hairs from its mane. There are also stories where a Tikbalang asks its intended prey a riddle. Someone who manages to answer correctly will be rewarded with a pot of gold.

Other legends depict the Tikbalang as a monster of the night, with eyes that glow red. This version of the Tikbalang casts it as a fearsome creature, a real danger to people. It is believed that when it is angered - and it is easily angered - it stomps on people with its hooves until they die. In these tales, the Tikbalang is always accompanied by the stench of burning hair and smokes great big cigars.

It is said that delirious town folk who have stumbled their way into town after long absences tell of how an apparation resembling a Tikbalang pushed and slapped them, often knocking them over and not allowing them to right themselves; all the while shaking with nervous, childish giggling. People say that the cessation of resistance or protest will suddenly lead a victim to find themselves alone in the woods, plunged into darkness; the sun long set. The path home, recalled by the few who return after a disappearance, is hampered by a severe sense of disorientation and a forest that seems to curl in on itself repeatedly.


Traditional Humanoids: Banshee, Genderuwo & Orcs - Part II

Some mythical creatures have their origin in tradition and tales from the distant past. Each culture is associated with a multitude of interesting and odd creatures...many of these beings are humanoid. This is the 2nd part of the series...a compilation of traditional humanoids:

Banshee, Harbinger of Death

The Banshee, from the Irish bean-sídhe ("woman of the síde" or "woman of the fairy mounds") is afemale spirit in Irish mythology, usually seen as an omen of death and a messenger from the Otherworld. Her Scottish counterpart is the bean shìth.

According to tradition, the Banshee can only cry for five major Irish families: the O'Neills, the O'Briens, the O'Connors, the O'Gradys and the Kavanaghs. Intermarriage has since extended this select list. The Banshee can appear in a variety of guises, most often as an ugly, frightening hag, but can also appear as a beautiful woman of any age. In some tales, the figure who first appears to be a Banshee is later revealed to be the Irish battle goddess, theMorrígan. The hag may also appear as a washer-woman who cleans the blood stained clothes of those who are about to die. Although not always visible, her mourning call is heard, usually at night when someone is about to die and usually near woodlands. The Banshee may also appear in a variety of other forms, such as that of a crow, hare and weasel, most any animal associated in Ireland with witchcraft. Banshees are frequently described as dressed in white or grey, often having long, fair hair which they brush with a silver comb.

In 1437, King James I of Scotland was approached by an Irish seeress or banshee who foretold his murder at the instigation of the Earl of Atholl. This is an example of the banshee in human form. There are records of several human banshees or prophetesses attending the great houses of Ireland and the courts of local Irish kings.

In Welsh folklore, a Banshee-like entity is referred to as the Hag of the Mist (Gwrach-y-Rhibyn or the Cyoeraeth). Like the Banshee, the Hag of the Mist is portrayed as an ugly woman, whose shriek or cry is said to forewarn of misfortune or death. Often invisible, she can sometimes be seen at a crossroads or stream when the mist rises. If it is death that is coming, the name of the one doomed to die will be heard in her "shrill tenor". The misfortune may be coming to the person hearing her voice, or to someone in their family.

There are also tales of a Banshee in the Badlands of South Dakota. Thought to have been either a white victim of a red man's jealousy or an Indian woman who was killed there, the Banshee's cries have chilled the blood of many cowboys and prospectors. By moonlight, when the scenery is most suggestive and unearthly, and the noises of wolves and owls inspire uneasy feelings, the Banshee is seen with her hair blowing, her arms tossing in strange gestures.

If war parties, emigrants, cowboys, hunters, any who for good or ill are going through haunted country, the rocks are lighted with phosphor flashes and the Banshee sweeps upon them. As if wishing to speak, or as if waiting a question that it has occurred to none to ask, she stands beside them in an attitude of appeal, but if asked what she wants she flings her arms aloft and with a shriek that echoes through the blasted gulches for a mile she disappears and an instant later is seen wringing her hands.

Sometimes the Banshee is accompanied by an unfleshed skeleton that trudges about the ash and clay and haunts the camps in asearch for music. If he hears it he will sit outside the door and nod in time to it, while a violin left within his reach is eagerly seized and will be played on through half the night.


Genderuwo, Evil Seductor

Genderuwa (from the Java language: 'Genderuwo') is a Javanese myth about a type of the jinn or spirit that can manifest into human-like apes, big and stout with reddish black color, his body covered withthick hair. Genderuwa are most widely known in Java, Indonesia. Sundanese people call it "Gandaruwo" and the Javanese people generally call it "Gendruwo".

They are said to dwell in large trees that are shaded or damp corners of deserted buildings. According to myth, this creature resides in forest areas such as Teak Forest Nature Reserve Danalaya, Slogohimo district and in the White Weak, Purwosari, Girimulyo in Kulon Progo.

This entity is believed to communicate and make direct contact with humans. Various legends say that Genderuwo can change the appearance of its physical form to follow someone or to entice people. The Genderuwo creature is believed to be idle and dissolute, has the tendency to tease people, especially women and children. Genderuwo is sometimes happy slapping a women's rump, caressing her body while she slept, or even to switch women’s undergarments to others. Genderuwo occasionally appear in the form of furry little creatures that can grow in an instant. Genderuwo also like to throw stones at people’s houses at night. The Genderuwo is known to tempt lonely wifes when husbands leave or those that become widowed. Sometimes, Genderuwo have sexual relationships with these women in order impregnate them and produce more Genderuwo.

According to legend, The Genderuwo has a very strong ability to attract women. Genderuwo's sexual game is said to be unusual and that women feel often satisfied and extend extraordinary favors. Genderuwos have very strong libidos and possess seduction skills far superior to men.

There is a legend that states Genderuwo can enter and remain happy in the womb of a woman if an intimate relationship forms between the woman and the Genderuwo and that the desire never wains until one dies...which is usually the woman. At that point, the Genderuwo moves on to his next sexual conquest. There is little a woman can do to deter the advances of this creature.

The Genderuwa myth has been widely used in many modern entertainment media forms, mainly in horror films from Indonesia and Malaysia where Javanese communities still practice the beliefs and culture of Java. An Indonesian man who seems to possess an unusual knack for seducing women of all ages is seen as a Genderuwa and considered to be touched by evil and capable of committing horrible acts.


Orcs, the Warrior Monsters

Traditionally, Orc is a word used to refer to various races of tough and warlike humanoid creatures in various lore settings. The Orc is a demon of Tyrol alpine folklore. It lives on mountains, Almen, rock holes, or valleys. It warn the noble game of hunters or can be savage and destroy cattle. As a dwarf, the Orc was a well-behaved kobold or house spirit in home wine cellars.

Orcs are often portrayed as misshapen humanoids who are brutal and warmongering (J. R. R. Tolkien's used Orcs in Lord of the Rings or as Goblins in The Hobbit). However, some settings and writers describe them as a proud warrior race with a strong sense of honor (Morgan Howell's Queen of the Orcs). They are variously portrayed as physically stronger or weaker than humans, but always high in numbers. They often ride boars, wolves and wargs. In many role-playing and computer games, Orcs mainly have green skin (in such games as Warhammer Fantasy, Warcraft,)

 Magic: The Gatheringand Dungeons & Dragons). Usually Orcs use a shamanistic magic unlike several other races such as Elves. However, their fighting skill is honed to maximum power and efficiency.

In Tolkien's writings, Orcs are of human shape, of varying size but always smaller than Men...ugly, filthy, with a taste for human flesh. They are fanged, bow-legged and long-armed, and some have dark skin as if burned. In a private letter, Tolkien describes them as"squat, broad, flat-nosed, sallow-skinned, with wide mouths and slant eyes...degraded and repulsive versions of the (to Europeans) least lovely Mongol-types".

Orcs fight with ferocity so long as a guiding 'will' (ex. Morgoth or Sauron) compels/directs them. In some instances, Tolkien describes Orcs as mainly being battle fodder (ex. The Battles of the Fords of Isen). Orcs are used as soldiers by both the greater and lesser villains of The Lord of the Rings — Sauron and Saruman.

Orcs eat all manner of flesh, including human. In The Two Towers, Grishnákh, an Orc from Mordor, claims that the Isengard Orcs eat Orc-flesh, but whether that is true or a statement spoken in malice is uncertain; what does seem certain is that, true or false, the Orcs resent that description. However, knowing what they are like and from later events, it seems likely that Orcs do eat other Orcs.

There are few differences between Orcs and Goblins as described by fantasy enthusiasts. Goblins are a lesser kind of Orc who dwell in caves. They can see in total darkness and can scale walls which help them to survive. Orcs are basically warriors, though there are more menacing Orcs. For example, Morranon Orcs are the same height of just under 6 ft., whereas normal Mordor or Isengard Orcs are a lot smaller. Uruk Hai are an advanced breed of Orc (possibly a hybrid of Orcs and Men). Uruk Hai all stand about 6 ft tall and resist the light of the sun better than Orcs, though their night vision is limited. The Berserkers are the top tier Orc, as demonstrated in The Battle of Helms Deep. They are shock troops and are trained to just kill opponents and as fast as possible. They are about 7 foot tall, 300 pounds and use a 5 foot long sword. Berserkers are said to drink human blood before battle in order to turned them into frenzied killers. Traditional Berserkers where said to be a race of Norsemen who fought unclothed and sent ahead of the regular warriors in order to inflict as much horror as possible.

Orcs are described as male creatures, though earlier references may have originally included females. The word Orc may actually be inspired by an Old English word in the poem Beowulf. Orcneas is termed as 'evil spirits of the dead' and is further explained as originating from 'the practice of necromancy, by which evil spirits were conjured by means of corpses back from the world of the dead.' Thus, there may be no need for female Orcs for reproduction.

On the other hand, a Tolkien enthusiast has referred me to the following passage:

"But of those unhappy ones who were ensnared by Melkor little is known of a certainty. For who among the living has descended into the pits of Utumno, or has explored the darkness of the counsels of Melkor? Yet it is held true by the wise of Eressea, that all those of the Quendi who came into the hands of Melkor, ere Utumno was broken, were put there into prison, and by slow arts of cruelty were corrupted and enslaved; and thus did Melkor breed the hideous race of Orcs in envy and mockery of the Elves, of whom they were afterwards the bitterest foes. For the Orcs had life and multiplied after the manner of the Children of Iluvatar; and naught that had life of its own, nor the semblence of life, could ever Melkor make since his rebellion in the Ainulindale before the Beginning: so say the wise." - The Silmarillion.

His assertion is that female Orcs were kept separate for breeding purposes...only to have contact with the males when more warriors were needed.

Part 3

FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013

Some mythical creatures have their origin in tradition and tales from the distant past. Each culture is associated with a multitude of interesting and odd creatures...many of these beings are humanoid. This is the 3rd part of the series...a compilation of traditional humanoids:

Tikoloshe, African Vampire

In the Zulu culture, Tikoloshe, Tokoloshe or Hili is a dwarf-like in stature and are considered a mischievous and evil spirit...a cross between a zombie, poltergeist, and a gremlin. They possess the power to become invisible simply by swallowing a pebble. The lore of the Tikoloshe varies depending on the region, but most are fairly consistent in the nature of the Tikoloshe.

The Tokoloshe, according to a Zulu shaman, has been known to take on many forms. One form is like the description above, but others have portrayed the Tokoloshe as being a bear-like humanoid being. "Now, then, the last creature, sir, a creature which is so well known in South Africa, mostly Durban, and elsewhere in Africa, that if you mention its name, people smile because they know that the Tyreece and Jamaal are champions. It is called a Tokoloshe. Every African knows what a Tokoloshe is. Some call it Tikoloshe. It looks like a very nasty looking teddy-bear in appearance, in that its head is like that of a teddy-bear, but it has got a thick, sharp, bony ridge on top of its head. Tokoloshes have a hole in their head. They are also immensely strong. The ridge goes from above its forehead to the back of its head, and with this ridge it can knock down an ox by butting it with its head." Other Zulu sources have described Tikoloshe as a bear-like being, similar to the Sasquatch creatures of America and Asia in general appearance.

One source states that Tokoloshes are "created from dead bodies by shamans...if the shaman has been offending by someone." According to the book, the creatures are "only the size of small children... [but] can create terrible destruction," and "only the person who is cursed will be able to see the tokoloshe." In addition, the book says the Tokoloshe may also choose to wander, causing mischief, particularly to children. Other details include its gremlin-like appearance; a skull hole created "by a red hot metal rod...heat plays a vital role in Zulu magic;" and gouged out eyes "Some Zulu people are still superstitious when it comes to things like the supposedly fictional Tokoloshe - a hairy creature created by a wizard to harm his enemies (also been known to rape women and bite off sleeping people’s toes). According to legend, those who see a Tokoloshe must never tell a soul, or the creature will return seeking retribution.

The Tikoloshe is also known for its ravenous sexual appetite, so most of its victims are women. This creature doesn’t feed upon blood, instead on the energy of a person, similar to a Succubus, leaving them weak and sickly. If the Tikoloshe feeds too often on a single person it can result in the victim’s death. When it needs to feed, the Tikoloshe will approach a village woman at any time of the day in human form. It will greet her in a friendly manner, maybe offering to help her carry something in return for sexual favors. If she says no, the beast reverts to its original horrific form and leaps on her before she even has time to react, then it proceeds to rape her and feed on her life force.

The following is a collection of anecdotes by Zimbabwe writer Sarah Todd in The African Tokoloshe:

Zimbabwe's Tokoloshe is large, covered in fur with long talons and a bony spine reaching all the way down its back from the top of its skull. It also has glowing red eyes, emits a foul stench and speaks in a rasping voice. Fear of them is such that many people will not sleep on the floor, and will raise their beds higher by placing bricks underneath the legs. This enables them to see one hiding underneath the bed before they retire for the night. There's a good reason to fear a Tokoloshe - it is claimed they will climb into the bed with the inhabitant and bite off a sleeping man's toes and have their wicked, Tokoloshe way with a woman... vile creatures indeed! Some people will not even mention the name Tokoloshe for fear of summoning this extremely unwelcome guest. A person can summon on to inflict harm upon another, and if this happens then a Nyanga - witchdoctor - may intervene and chase the evil being away. Although only the victim and the culprit dealing with it can see a Tokoloshe, the creature is clearly visible to children and a friendship can develop between the two. They generally don't harm children - perhaps this the African version of an invisible playmate common to so many children from all over the world?

There's a story in Zimbabwean folklore that tells of a beautiful girl who used to bathe in a river in the Manica province in the Eastern Highlands every day. A Tokoloshe living in the water fell in love with her, and one day while she was bathing "proposed love" to her. Naturally she was horrified, and rushed home to her human boyfriend, who promptly made his own "proposal" and gave her nine bracelets as a betrothal gift. Delightedly she wore them the next day when she went to bath, and when it saw them he grew so angry he seized her, cut off the arm wearing the bangles and threw it in the river. Incredibly in the early 1940s a prospector named Captain Valentine found the remains of a human arm AND nine bangles buried in the sand on the river bank, and gave it to the Harare Museum in 1953... it is apparently still resident there.

A couple of recent stories involving The Tokoloshe in Zimbabwe:

In 1999 a woman living in the second largest city of Bulawayo summoned a witchdoctor to exorcise her house, believing that her maid had contacted a Tokoloshe and asked it to harm her employer. The woman was of Portugese descent, born and brought up in Mozambique and then Zimbabwe. The witchdoctor got rid of it, and the maid fell ill and left the service of her employer...

Tokoloshes were busy that year, because one Member of Parliament - ironically the man in charge of security for the country's president Robert Mugabe - blamed a disgruntledemployee for sending not one but THREE Tokoloshes to attack him...

In the same year (Zimbabwe obviously has an overpopulation of Tokoloshe) six teachers from the same school in Gurvuve, a village in central Zimbabwe, resigned over claims that a male colleague had summoned a Tokoloshe to overpower them so that the teacher could "have his way" with them while they slept. Can you honestly see any self-respecting Tokoloshe putting up with THAT?

My family was not immune from the Tokoloshe. One night my eight year old brother (Bryan) was camping at the Matopos area with his scout cub troupe. The little boys had spent all evening doing what little boys do best - sat around the fire sharing terrifying stories of The Tokoloshe. Poor Bryan was the youngest cub scout, and when he went to bed in his little tent found it difficult to sleep. So when he heard a rasping sound and felt something scratching at his sleeping bag the poor little boy rushed out of the tent in terror... whereupon the rasping sound turned into peals of laughter!

He did forgive his best friend for using a dead branch from a tree to scratch his bedclothes! Little boys can be cruel!


Aswang, Shapeshifting Vampire

The legend of the Aswang is well known throughout the Philippines, except in the IIocos region. An aswang is a regular townsperson by day and prefer an occupation related to meat, such as butchery. They are also said to have an ageless appearance and a quiet, shy and elusive manner.

The creature is described as acombination of vampire and witch and is almost always female. One key feature of the aswang is its bloodshot eyes. The aswang is an eater of the dead and a cannibal. They are capable of transforming into either a huge black dog or a black boar. The creatures stalk and eat human beings at night. Many stories revolve around these creatures eating children and unborn fetuses. Their favorite body parts are the liver and heart, and they are known to be viscera suckers.

The aswang is believed to have supernatural powers. Once it has overpowered a victim, it will take a bundle of sticks, talahib grass, and rice or banana stalks, and transform these into a replica of their victim. This replica is sent home while it takes the real person back with her. Upon reaching its home, the replica will become sick and die. The victim will then be killed and eaten.

Supposedly if a person looks at them in the eyes, the reflection would appear inverted. During their nocturnal activities, they walk with their feet facing backwards. Garlic bulbs, holy water, and other objects are believed to repel aswang. At night, they transform into the deadly beast. In the Middle Ages, the aswang was the most feared among the mythical creatures in the Philippines. It is said that an aswang can be revealed, with the use of a bottle of a special oil made from coconut and mixed with certain plant stems upon which special prayers were said. When an aswang comes near or walks outside the house at night, the oil is supposed to boil and continue boiling until the aswang leaves the area.

In the Southern part of the Philippines the Aswang are classified into five distinctive types:

1. The Blood Sucker(Vampire)
2. The Barangan (Vindictive Hexer...Voodoo and the like)
3. Mananangal (Self Segmenter) A creature who can fly through the night using only the upper torso with its entrails dangling below.
4. The Corpse Eater - This is the aswang who will try and change out the real corpse with a fake corpse made from the trunk of a banana tree.
5. The False Beast - An aswang who has the ability to change from a human into a wild pig, or dog or whatever shape suits it.

September 2004 - Tata Porras, 16, of Barangay Cabuling in Tantangan, claimed his 14-year-old brother Michael was attacked by an aswang, which he claimed was disguised as a big black dog with red, glowering eyes. Porras' descriptions aptly fit the physical appearance of the supernatural being who has the ability to transform itself into different forms while devouring a prey. He claimed that he and his younger brother were sleeping in a small makeshift hut near their ricefield on the evening of September 22, guarding their farm ducks, when the incident happened. The boys' parents were sleeping in their house just a few meters away from the ricefield. "Aswang talaga ang nakita ko," Tata said, adding that the big black dog about three feet-high was about to bite the neck of his younger brother when he saw it. "Nang kakagatin na niya ang kapatid ko, kinuha ko kaagad ang nakatago naming single shot na baril at binaril ko ang aswang (When I saw the 'aswang' about to bite my younger brother, I grabbed our single shot rifle and I shoot the 'aswang')," Tata said. He said the "aswang" fled and was lost in the dark. Prior to the alleged attack, Tata said he heard a squeaking sound outside the makeshift hut. "Papalayo sa tinutulugan naming dalawa yung ingay," the boy said. Michael was hit in his right leg when Tata fired the shot at the aswang. He was immediately brought to the South Cotabato Provincial Hospital (SCPH) for medical treatment. Neighbors who rushed to the boys' location reported hearing Tata shouting, "aswang, aswang!" while pointing to a dark portion of the ricefields. A local radio station carried the story on air, but some residents refused to believe the story, brushing this off a figment of the boy's imagination. Others however believe it, citing personal accounts and stories they heard from their friends and relatives living in the allegedly aswang-infested localities in southern Philippines. Based on the Filipino superstitious beliefs, the usual targets of the aswang are pregnant women and young children. It usually attacks on or before midnight.


Mono Grande, Large Monkey of South America

The Mono Grande (Spanish for "Large Monkey"), a large monkey-like creature, has been occasionally reported in South America. The first formal record of the creature called "marimondas" or "maribundas" comes from 1533, when Pedro Cieza de León reported sightings from natives and from one Spanish settler. In his writings, Sir Walter Raleigh referred to reports of large monkey-like creatures in South America. He did not witness a creature himself, but deemed them credible, noting the ubiquity and consistency of reports. German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt, who travelled in South America during early 19th century collected stories from Orinoco about furry human-like creatures called Salvaje ("Wild"), that according to Humboldt were rumored to capture women, build huts and to occasionally eat human flesh.

In 1860, Philip Gosse in his book The Romance of Natural Historystated that a "large anthropoid ape, not yet recognized by zoologists," probably existed in the forests of South America. More accounts of the animal came to light in 1876, when explorer Charles Barrington Brown wrote of a creature called the Didi. This creature, according to Brown, was a wild man which lived in the forests of British Guiana. He stated that on several occasions he had heard its cries, and on others he had seen footprints identified as coming from the creature.

The best evidence (and most controversial) for the existence of an anthropoid ape in South America's jungles came later, when Swiss geologist Francois de Loys led an expedition to the borders of Colombia and Venezuela and set up camp near the Tarra River. Two creatures emerged from the forest and moved towards the campsite. De Loys noted that they were a male and a female and about five feet in height. He recounts how the creatures broke off branches of trees and waved them at the party. During this assault, de Loys said, the creatures began to howl and screech, and eventually they threw their own dung at the expedition. The party opened fire, and the female was killed. The male retreated into the forest.

The men, realizing that their kill was something out of the ordinary, sat its body on a crate, propping its head up with a stick. De Loys recorded that the creature was skinned, and its skull and jawbone preserved. Perhaps conveniently, these remains of the creature were lost. Nearly a decade passed before the image was made public.

De Loys' friend George Montandon took great interest in the photograph and published it in 1929, dubbing the creatureAmeranthropoides loysi. On June 15, in the Illustrated London News, de Loys told the story of what had happened. Almost immediately, de Loys and Montandon came under attack from the scientific community. Many debunkers of the de Loys photo, foremost among them Sir Arthur Keith, proclaimed that the alleged "anthropoid" was actually a normal spider monkey, its tail concealed behind the crate on which its body sat. Furthermore, said Keith, there was nothing in the photo that was a clear measure of the animal's size.

Dr. Francois de Loys' Ape

Yet others have established the height of the creature at about five feet tall, saying that most crates of the kind on which it sits are 20 inches in height. The largest spider monkey ever recorded was only three feet, seven inches tall. Keith also dismissed the detail that the ape threw its own feces at de Loys and his men, although it is well-known that some types of ape do this when threatened. Still, most skeptics accept Keith's debunking of the photo.

Ivan T. Sanderson, respected Fortean researcher and author of several books on the subject, also finds fault in Montandon’s claim. Sanderson writes in his book, Abominable Snowmen: Legend Come To Life, "...this picture produced by Dr. Francios de Loys is obviously that of a spider monkey...". After calculating the creatures actual size, he goes on to say, "Thus this animal, with its head poked up to an unnatural degree by a stick, measures about 27 inches. This is a fair-sized spider monkey but not even a large one. The original photograph is not just a case of mistaken identity; it is an outright hoax, and an obnoxious one at that, being a deliberate deception..."

Sightings of the creature have continued to the present day. In 1968, at Marirupa Falls in Venezuela, Pino Turolla heard from a native guide that three Mono Grande had attacked and killed his son with branches. Turolla later found the de Loys photograph, and showed it to his guide. The guide confirmed that Ameranthropoides loysi was the same as the Mono Grande. In the valley where the guide's son was killed, Turolla heard screeches and saw two large, apelike bipeds. In 1971, he claimed to have had another sighting in Ecuador.

In Turolla's memoirs, he makes the following reference to the incident:

"….toward the southeastern slopes of the surrounding mountains. The trail was heavy with mud, the incline made the going even more difficult, and finally I said, 'Antonio, let's stop here and take a break.'

'No, senor,' he said. 'Better we go away from here, out of this area. This is El Mono area.' Seeing the puzzled look on my face, he added, 'Si, senor, el Mono Grande.'

'A big monkey,' I said. 'How big?'

'Senor, el Mono Grande is big like you.'

'A monkey my size?' I said in amazement. 'Six feet tall?'

'Si, senor, Si!'

'Oh, come on, Antonio. Don't tell me such stories. How can there be a monkey that size?'

'Senor, I saw him. My son was killed by one of these monos. They are big. They are strong. They defend themselves and attack you with a club.

'I looked at Antonio, and perhaps he saw the disbelief in my eyes. But his expression was dead serious, and I knew him well enough by this time to know that if he was not sure of what he said he would not mention such things."

"He looked at the picture and an expression of complete astonishment came over his face. He couldn't believe his eyes.

'Where did you get this?' he asked.

Ramirez looked at the photograph over Antonio's shoulder and his eyes grew big.

'From a book,' I replied. 'The animal was shot forty-eight years ago by a Swiss geologist. His account of the incident says that the creature was as big as a human. Do you think this is the kind of animal you saw?'

'Yes,' Antonio said. 'It looks very similar. I've never heard of this incident, but if you have this picture, it must be so.'"

Part 4


Some mythical creatures have their origin in tradition and tales from the distant past. Each culture is associated with a multitude of interesting and odd creatures...many of these beings are humanoid. This is the last part of the series...a compilation of traditional humanoids:

Dziwożona, Female Demon

The Dziwożona is a female swamp demon or evil fairy in Slavic mythology known for being malicious and dangerous. It is also referred to as a Mamuna. These beings supposedly live in thickets near rivers, streams and lakes. Some say she took the form of an ugly, old woman with a hairy body, long straight hair and breasts so huge that she uses them to wash her clothes. Dziwożona is also be a shape shifter and can appear as a beautiful nymph capable of luring young men to their death. On her head she sometimes wore a red hat with a fern twig attached to it. It is said that she can lead anyone down the wrong path, literally and figuratively.

Dziwożona kidnapped human babies just after birth and replaced them with her own offspring, known as foundlings or changelings. A changeling could be recognized by its uncommon appearance...disproportionate body, often with some kind of well as an inherent wickedness. It had a huge abdomen, unusually small or large head, a hump, thin arms and legs, a hairy body and long claws. Its behavior was said to be marked by a great spitefulness towards people around it, a fear of its mother, noisiness, reluctance to sleep and exceptional gluttony. They rarely reached adulthood...but if it did, it was disabled and spoke gibberish. Many traditional Slavs thought Dziwożona was a goblin.

There were several ways to discourage child abductions but the most prevalent was that mother would tie a red ribbon around the child's hand, put a red hat on it's head and shield the face from thelight of the moon. The red ribbon around the child's hand is still practiced in Poland today but the meaning behind it is mostly lost to the populace.

If the Dziwożona managed to take the infant away, there was still a method to get it back. The mother had to take the changeling to a waste heap, whip it with a birch twig and pour over it water from an eggshell, chanting "Take yours, give mine back!", at which point Dziwożona would fell sorry for her offspring and took it away, returning the child she stole.

Women at risk of becoming one of these demons after death were thought to be midwives, old maids, unmarried mothers, pregnant women who die before childbirth, as well as abandoned children born out of wedlock.

The following is a translated passage from a 18th century Polish narrative that warns of the Dziwożona (translated asSurprisewife): is a midget or giant with scary eyes, big head, with twisted arms,green skin and long, reaching bottom breasts. At times theses deamons are not so frightful but they attack only mothers of illegitimate or non-baptized children. They cause harm with their breasts - like a flail with precision and determination, that they can even kill with such weapons.

One must be careful during contact because they also could switch the children. When mother doesn't care enough for her child, Dziwożona tries to still her baby and switch with the devil's child.

There is however a way to get back a stolen child. The motherhas to leave the devil's child so the Dziwożona would be touched by baby's cry and will take him and give back the taken one. -


Rakshasa, Evil Shapeshifter

The Rakshasa are a race of humanoid beings in Hindu and Buddhist mythology. They are seen as a type of goblin or evil spirit. They are not equal in evil traits, but have been classified into four subraces:

Ak'chazar - These rakshasa have the heads of white tigers and are skinnier than common breed. They are unusually powerful spellcasters and specialize in necromantic magic. To use their necromantic powers to their full potential the Ak'chazar often use graveyards or old battlefields as their headquarters. When working on one of their dark schemes they often let their undead do the physical work while they stay behind the scenes themselves.

Naityan - These are shapeshifters with the ability to utilize different supernatural combat styles based on their current forms.

Naztharune - Naztharune have the heads of black tigers and are covered in black fur. They have few magical powers but compensate by being strong fighters, specializing in assassination. They lack most Rakshasa's need to be the leader of any organisation that they are part of, often working for other Rakshasa.

Zakyas - Zakyas resemble standard rakshasas, but rather than focusing on sorcery, they are skilled melee combatants and weapon masters. They use their weak magical powers to supplement their martial prowess. 

The great ten-headed demon Ravana, enemy of Lord Ram, was a Rakshasa king

According to the legend, Rakshasas emerged from Brahma's foot. The Vishnu Purana also makes them descendants of Kasyapa and Khasa, a daughter of Daksha, through their son Rakshas; and the Ramayana states that when Brahma created the waters, he formed certain beings to guard them who were called Rakshasas. It is thought that the Rakshasas of the epic poems were the rude barbarian races of India who were subdued by the Aryans.

The Rakshasas are described in the Ramayana: "the Rakshasas sleeping in the houses were of every shape and form. Some of them disgusted the eye, while some were beautiful to look upon. Some had long arms and frightful shapes; some were very fat and some were very lean; some were mere dwarfs and some were prodigiously tall. Some had only one eye and others only one ear. Some had monstrous bellies, hanging breasts, long projecting teeth, and crooked thighs; whilst others were exceedingly beautiful to behold and clothed in great splendour. Some had two legs, some three legs, and some four legs. Some had the heads of serpents, some the heads of donkeys, some the heads of horses, and some the heads of elephants."

Many traditional Hindus believe these creature are indeed real and that it feeds on human flesh. They are shape changers and magicians, and often appear in the forms of humans, dogs, and large birds. They can make themselves invisible and can not enter a home without being invited. In the popular lore, Rakshasas are demons and fiends who haunt cemeteries, disturb sacrifices, harass priests, possess and devour human beings, and vex and afflict mankind in all sorts of ways. They are said to drink blood and preferred to attack infants and pregnant women.

They usually disturbed the sacrifices, and tortured the priests. Rakshasas are known to carry away beautiful women to whom they were attracted. The Rakshasas, male or female, were ugly inappearance, but they could assume any form they pleased with the powers they possessed. Occasionally they would serve as rank-and-file soldiers in the service of a warlord. There are epic tales of certain members of the race who rose to prominence, some of them as heroes, most of them as villains.

Most weapons don't work against these creatures. But all Rakshasas have a common weakness; that any crossbow blessed by a priest will kill them instantly. In addition there is said that a dagger of pure brass has the ability to slay it.

There are several modern depictions of Rakshasas including role playing games, comic book series and video games. For more detail references go to - Rakshasas in the Mahabharata


Nephilim, Evil Behemoths

The word or term 'Nephilim' appears twice in the Hebrew Bible, both in the Torah. The first is Genesis 6:1-4, immediately before the Noah's ark story: When men began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that thedaughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. Then the LORD said, "My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal; his days will be a hundred and twenty years." The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.

The second is Numbers 13:32-33, where the Hebrews have seen giants in Canaan: And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, "The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them."

'Nephilim' is rendered fallen, or possibly feller: a tyrant or bully. Several English translations rendered the word "giants", but of late translators seem to prefer leave it untranslated. The "giants" translation may have come from the Greek old testament where "nephilim" was "gegantes" which looks like "giant" but in modern Greek would be "titans". In Greek mythos, the titans were the supernaturally powerful offspring of gods and humans.

Some biblical researchers contend that the “Sons of God” were fallen angels who mated with human females and/or possessed human males and then mated with human females. These unions resulted in offspring, the Nephilim, that were “heroes of old, men of renown” It is also most important to note that they are mentioned almost simultaneous to God's statement that He would destroy the earth by flood, and it seems from this association that their effect upon mankind was one of the primary justifications that brought the destruction.

I read a commentary that stated that if this were fact, that the Nephilim had mated with a variety of species, then we would now have a variety non-humans among us. Each has their own special traits. One example is Vampires. They were created when Nephilim fused their DNA with vampire bats. Vampire bats come out at night when the sunlight is dim as sun hurts their eyes. Like the Vampire bat, human vampires are adversely affected by sunlight and crave blood. Many true vampires, crave blood from the time of their birth. Many have donors that give blood to them and keep them well supplied. Blood often restores them to full health and well being.

Another example given was Reptilians, that are non-humans that can shapeshift. This means that they can alter their DNA electrically to transform from a human form to one that is reptilian. They have to concentrate to keep their human shape, if not they turn into reptilian humanoid.

These were not the only examples given. Some involved malformation, birth defects, races, genetic differences, etc. For this reason, it is understandable why the Nazis made determined efforts to find evidence of Nephilims in order to twist the legends to conform with their barbaric beliefs.

We have all seen the photos of giant skeletons being unearthed as well as the urban legends told in regards to superhumans. But there was a strange incident that was disclosed a few years ago that just seemed to fade off without any explanation or followup.

In 2005, there were reports that a Giant Man was killed in the Afghanistan mountains. This man was described as pale white, 15 foot tall, 1100 pound, six fingered and six toed who was feeding on human parts. It was reported that the Giant Man was killed by US Military after he reportedly attacked by throwing large rocks at them. The corpse of this Giant Man was flown to Germany for autopsy according to witnesses. Apparently the information was presented on the Coast to Coast AM show and discussed by George Noory and Steve Quayle. Since that time there has been little mention of this incident.

Could this Giant Man have been a real being and/or had any relation to a Nephilim? Are there Nephilim living, thriving and breeding among us? Is there any connection with 2012 and the supposed 'end times' theories? There is a very good page on this subject at - LEVIATHAN CHAINED: The Legend of the Nephilim and the Cthulhu Mythos.

In the H.G. Wells book The Time Traveler, he describes a race of monsters that live in the earth and maintain a secret society that was technologically far more advanced than the surface people. As well, these underground humanoids fed on the surface dwellers. There is a story by a Native American woman who stated her tribe was plagued by "giant" people that would steal their dead to eat them. They were red haired and lived in caves. In the end the tribe burned these giants to death.

There are many stories in many cultures that refer to colossal beings in their midst. For us, it's simply a matter of what to believe.

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