This is one of the last two areas of the world we are traveling too. So, let’s venture into the deep woods of the Americas to start the beginning of the final countdown!
Wendigo | Algonquian Tribes
Cannibalistic beastly humanoid, possibly once human.
- This creature is aligned with murder, insatiable, and cultural taboos against “normal” behavior. They’re also associated with the winter, the north, coldness, famine, and starvation.
- The Wendigo is bigger than a human, and whenever it feeds on human flesh, it grows! It never gains weight and will always appear thin. They’re always hungry so watch out!!
- There’s also an explanation as to why they may have been human once before turning into the Wendigo. When they were human, they may have been incredibly greedy. Or if the human was in contact with Wendigos for too long, they would become one.
- Powers include: mimicking human voices, possession, controlling weather, manipulation of darkness (sunset), control of forest creatures, healing, and incredible strength and speed.
- Believe it or not, there is a psychological disorder called the Wendigo Psychosis. People diagnosed crave human flesh even though they have access to normal food sources.
Bahamut | Middle East
Colossal fish that is one of seven layers supporting the Earth.
- Bahamut is sometimes considered a nickname. Balhut is the earliest name for the fish. Bahamut came along and is actually translated from the word, “behemoth.” (And other references but crazy!)
- You can’t see Bahamut but he keeps us out of the black abyss, while swimming around in the underworld.
- The general consensus on what Bahamut looks like revolves around a huge animal. Some stories give him different appearances but the more notable figure is the water-dwelling animal.
- Can a fish even have powers? With his size, you think that would be it. Lo and behold, in other mythological tales, Bahamut has the ability to drive someone mad if seen (which is most unlikely, but whatever.) Another version of Bahamut can control all wild predators on Earth with a simple roar, during the summer solstice. This power keeps the animals tamed until the next year.
- Weakness isn’t a word Bahamut knows…but obedience is. If he doesn’t obey his Creator…he could get killed!
Gamayun | Russia
Prophetic bird with the head of a woman.
- Perched on top of a pedestal of wisdom and knowledge, the gamayun speaks only of divine messages and prophecies.
- She lives on an island; this particular island is considered to be paradise.
- It might not seem like a paradise to us, though. She lives on this island alone. It might be due to wanting to separate herself away from humankind and other animals since she knows the demise of it all and wants to watch it all unfold.
- Alongside another mythological creature, the Gamayun played a huge role in integrating Christianity into society.
- A singer of hymns and all-knowing creature…the Gamayun still has her influence on Russia. She can even be found on the coat of arms for some towns!
You read that title correctly. We’re talking about a mythological creature who tickles his victims to death…not a way I want to go. We’re traveling to West Asia, and for the next four weeks, this is where we’ll stay.
Şüräle | Turkey
“Horned, woolly humanoid that tickles people to death.”
- The Şüräle has long fingers (used for tickling), a horn on its forehead (like a unicorn), and a woolly body (similar to that of a sheep.) Somehow, this terrifying sounding creature lures people into the thicket of the forest it resides in and tickles them to death.
- It can transform its body, usually into a human. The human will almost always have glowing eyes and wear its shoes backwards. Lo and behold, this may or may not be how they lure their victims in.
- If you’re lucky enough, you can befriend the monster and learn the secrets to magic. People will make deals with it and gain the creature’s protection of livelihood and animal stock. Beware though…if the Şüräle doesn’t like you, they’ll make you ill or force you to get lost.
- In a lighthearted way, the Şüräle can be a jokester; there’s a myth about them taking the axes of woodcutters and hiding them.
- In order to get the Şüräle off your back if you come across it, you have to turn your clothes inside out and wear your shoes backwards.
Uchchaihshravas | India
“Seven-headed flying horse that became king of horses.”
- The uchchaihshravas is the steed of the God King. But also the horse of the King of Demons.
- The horse is described to be snow white, probably attributed to the creation of the horse. It came to life during the churning of the milk ocean, also called Samudra manthan.
- Wonder what the name of the horse means? Long ears or neighing aloud. This is a pretty straight forward description of what horses embody.
- Before becoming the King of horses, the uchchaihshravas was deemed the best of horses and a prototype by his master, Indra.
- When born, there were other treasures who came from the churning of the milk ocean. The king of horses was not lonely!
Welcome back to The Write Nook and HRM’s place to splurge on random information!
With a new year comes new formats and new topics. As always, we’re excited to share our list of recent publications (in the audio department) and talk about whatever aspiring writers and published authors are dying to know. Or we’re ready to sit down with a cup of coffee and talk writing. Whatever the case may be, we’re excited to share this new year with you!
Even though we’ll be diving into new things, don’t think we’re going to abandon our weekly mythology lesson. This week is our last week in Japan (metaphorically…not physically!) So, keep reading if you’re interested in spirits who like to drink!
Shōjō | Japan
“Red-faced sea spirit with a fondness for alcohol.”
- Shōjō is also used to refer to someone who likes alcohol.
- There is a Noh mask for the shōjō. Noh is a well-known form of classical Japanese musical drama. The performers use masks, costumes, and props to tell the story at hand through dance.
- A shōjō is also a term for an orangutan!
- There are legends surrounding the shōjō drinking the beer brewed in breweries. Watch your beer, friends!
- They’re described to look like apes (hairy, too!) And with bright red hair and blushing faces. They wear clothes made from seaweed – and no surprise, you’ll usually find them by coasts, islands, and shallow waters.
Nuppeppō | Japan
“Passive, genderless blob one can eat to gain eternal youth.”
- This yōkai has a pungent body odor because it’s supposedly made up of corpses. I knew there was a catch…Makes it that much harder to eat.
- While other spirits have some form of origin tale…the nuppeppō doesn’t. Even though it’s been around since the 18th century.
- You’ll most likely find this blob in deserted streets, abandoned temples, and…you guessed it…graveyards.
- They are entirely harmless!
- Although the blob is just that…a blob…the nuppeppō has folds all over it. Which makes it look like it has eyes, a nose, a mouth, arms and legs.
Keeping up with book trends and sales? Don’t worry. We are too. There will always be highs and lows, one extreme to another. This isn’t really a trend but just a little something we noticed in the office. Everything is so simple.
Sure, writing the book isn’t simple…getting the book to be noticed by an editor/publisher isn’t simple…the process of production isn’t simple…but when the final product of the book is in the author’s hands or a trusty reader’s yearning finger tips…do they just look at the cover and think, it’s so simple? We’re referring to the cover art itself. And because we came across a list of books in which the title said, “Most Beautiful…”, we thought it was about time we sit down and chat about cover art. Again.
Calling something beautiful is subjective to the writer of the article. Some of the titles on this list have been hyped up and plastered all over the internet, they were bound to become bestsellers. But there was one common thing among the covers we needed to stress. They’re so simple. There’s nothing wrong with simplicity but the simplicity of these books has helped bump up sales revenue. Many fiction titles are beginning to look…uniform. Once again…there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s getting money in someone’s pocket, regardless.
We’re not here to dictate what you should do with your book. But if you find yourself in need of change and you could envision a bit of abstract art or an object as the cover of your book, then maybe it’s time you send out a few emails to the cover designers out in the world. You may appeal to a new crowd looking for the simple covers that get them wondering what the heck the cover is trying to tell them.
Thank goodness we live in a digital age where all we have to do is delete and upload a new image.
Kasa-obake | Japan
“Animated umbrellas that jump around on one leg.”
- Here we have another yōkai (like the ittan-momen and bake-kujira.) This can sometimes be thrown under the same name as the ittan-momen: a tsukumogami, but not all consider it to be that.
- Other names include: karakasa-obake, kase-bake, and karakasa kozō.
- If you couldn’t tell by the art above, the kasa-obake have a very distinct appearance. It’s usually an umbrella with one eye, hopping around on one leg. In some rare cases, they’ll have two legs but it’s highly unlikely to find. Every once in awhile, it’ll have two arms and sometimes be described to have a long tongue.
- Initially, the kasa-obake was simply a humanoid spirit with an umbrella on its head…but as time went on the human became an umbrella. This is why people believe it to be a tsukumogami.
- This is the most well-known yōkai (that is an object) and has been incorprated into card games, haunted houses, anime (Japanese animated shows), manga (Japanese comic books/graphic novels), and movies.