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The Divine Serpent

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Boreas
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« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2007, 04:01:49 am »




Mothers


Mother images - of a protective maternal deity - have been found right across the mammoth-hunter area. Artistically they vary. Some are very abstract and sophisticated. The mother figurines near the Angara River are mostly naturallistic. They show real women, with braided hair styles, tattoos or body paint, saggy breasts, and in some cases clothing - a fur jumpsuit - much as was still worn until recently by the Chukchi and Koryak women in the North Pacific regions.

These can be interpreted as protective "mothers" for childbirth, hunting, the home, the tribal territory, the earth and land itself, etc. We can say this because the concept is still with us. We still personify qualities with sturdy female images - Justice, Britannia, Liberty, Marianne, Mother Russia, etc. And there is a long tradition of mother goddesses between. Clearly many iconic beliefs still held today were already well established some 25,000 years ago.

Spirals and zig-zag serpents

The plaque in the Irkutsk museum has a hole through its centre - it may have been attached to a shaman's ceremonial dress or hang up in a special place.

Spirals are traditionally associated with the heavens. And zigzag water serpents - sometimes just abstracted as zig zags or diamond patterns, sometimes elaborated into fiercesome dragons, are associated with the underworld - and femaleness. You can see such imagery on Chinese paintings and on European paintings, and in traditional Australian cosmic imagery too.



It is interesting that spirals are associated with the heavens long before anyone knew about galaxies (only since 1930) but it reveals that 25,000 years ago careful observations had been made of the patterns of nature - the winds and clouds, and the ripples over the water.



The Swan Prince - World Surveyor Man

The phallic swan pendants. As the "mothers" are female power so these represent the mysterious qualify of "male power". The seeds of life that men thought they possessed having noticed that women did not get pregnant by themselves. So the Swan also represents life, and came also to represent the rising sun which brings life and light.

More explicit pendants of phalluses with wings were worn by men for good luck in the iron age - there are a number in the museum at Scunthorpe. A Yakut shaman's pendant in the museum at Yakutsk, shows the circumpolar constellations. The pendant is 19th century, but the iconography is much older.

In the Neolithic and Bronze Age (from about 7,000 years ago)the water bird-like male sun god appears in Eastern Europe and China on a conveyance to get him across the sky - a wheeled chariot drawn by ducks or geese or similar. Typical of these is the "Duplijaja chariot" now in the museum in Belgrade. When the figure on the chariot is lifted off it can be seen that not only is he definitely male under his skirt, but he is standing over an inscribed cross within a circle.

Sun Wheels

wheelThe cross-circle or wheel is an icon of the sun and its passage through the year and through the day. Wheels have been found dated 24,000 years ago placed in the tombs at Sunghir in Russia - another mammoth hunter culture where the clothing of fringed leather embroidered with beads (much like that worn later in Siberia) survived in the permafrost conditions. Wheels like this one carved out of mammoth ivory had been carefully laid in tombs. Wheels however are not known to have been used for transport that early.

Wheels are also sun emblems in North America - they are on the rock drawings of the Chumash of California for example. One of the oldest crosses was found inscribed in red into a piece of polished mammoth ivory found in Hungary dated to around 100,000 years ago. The cross in circle was a Roman symbol of the Sun God and transfered into Christian iconography.

The Swan Prince in the Iron Age (from about 500 years ago in Northern Europe and Siberia)was now mounted on a white horse. His association with "male power" is obvious as he is dressed and armed as a warrior. His curly golden hair streams out - he may be shown with a halo. He still has wings. (Or wing like billowing cloak). He carries a a long sword or a long lance with which he is spearing a serpent monster or dragon.

The association with the constellation of Cygnus the Swan is seen in the legends associating the god of light and life with a role in leading the souls of the dead to the world of the dead, across the milky way (or Pebbly River). (A North American Menomi story says that babies always have holes in their little moccasins so they can say they cannot travel the road of the dead as their shoes are too bad). This role of leading the souls of the dead to the place of the dead, was Christianized as Saint Michael (Swan wings, big sword, dragon)- and the transition can be seen in the church at Stragglethorpe in Lincolnshire built over a previous religious site from which the relief of the Stragglethorpe Rider (wings, horse, armour, lance, dragon) was uncovered.)

The Yukaghir - numerous in the 18th century but now almost extinct - are the survivors of an earlier population in Europe, Siberia and North America.

The sort of rituals and beliefs that may have existed at Stragglethorpe (and have been brought by Roman mercenaries from Eastern Europe) survived in the Ural mountains. These people - the Mansi - originally Vogul - had been part of a Hungarian empire - of which some tribes emigrated in the 10th century to what is present day Hungary.



In 1232 King Bela IV dispatched Dominican friars on a mission to convert the folk left behind. By the time the sole survivor, Julian, of the expedition arrived, he found them preparing for battle against the Mongols under Batu Khan and Batu Khan's envoy - who was English warned the friar that the Mongols were on their way to conquer the entire world. Julian had to rush home to warn his King, and the Pope in Rome.

The Mansi/Vogul retained their original beliefs. To them the Sun God, was the younges of the seven children of the Sky God Num-Taremand the Great Mother Goddess Juli-Tarem. He was called Mir-Susne-Khum - which translates as World Watching Man or World Surveyor Man.

He was also called "the Golden Prince watching over the people"
"The Swan Prince"
"The Gander Prince" (Lunt-Ater)

his myths are similar to the Bear myths. He was sent by his father the Sky God to bring cultural benefits to man. He suffered and was badly treated but had his revenge.

He will return again in time of trouble to help man. This seems to been a common messianic belief. The Ket - last survivors on the River Yenesei of many similar tribes ancestral to many Europeans and North Americans, believed that their hero Alba, son of their creator God Ets, would return and save them. They wait.

The Mansi made the sun God's image in copper or brass as a goose - or rather since male, gander. In his bird form he watches over the world to ensure health and happiness and bright light to the Earth.

The Aurora Borealis is caused by his shiny clothes and glittering white horse as he flashes through the sky.
The sun's rays are his long hair "When the Golden Prince undoes his locks of hair the ice melts on the rivers". "Due to the power of his hair we have summer, we have winter."

The shamans were said to live in the sun's rays "like insects in human hair". At dawn, they exclaimed to the rising sun:

    You, the Golden Sun - hand of the emerging sun:
    You, the Golden-Rayed one, in the rising sun,
    You, golden goose-shaped one of gold
    Golden-Prince, Prince with the rising sun's rays"
    Open the seven doors of your seven sided house
    and let the golden sunshine out to shine
    on the round earth
    In the seven corners of your holy saddle
    let the golden rays of the Sun appear!"
    (from Roheim 1966)

Similar prayers were made by the Saxons to the rising sun.

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/heather.hobden1/mammothhunters.htm



THE MANSIS


The self-designations are maan's'i and maan's'i maahum, meaning 'people of the Mansi'. The eastern tribes also use män's. The language is called maan's'i latyng. The original meaning of the self-designation is a human being or a man. Previously the Mansi were better known by the name of Voguls, their name in the Komi (and Khant) language. The Zyryan Komis were once guides for the Russian troops in the area of the River Ob, and through the Russian the term of Voguls spread in other languages as well.

The Mansis were first mentioned in written records in 1396 in Russian chronicles as Voguls. Earlier records, starting with G. Rogovich from Novgorod (1096), did not differentiate between the Jugra people, i.e. the Khants and the Mansis. In Russian sources the term Mansi came into use in 1785, and from the 1920s it became common in the Soviet Union. The remainder of the world still knows the Mansis as Voguls.

Habitat. The Mansis live in the Khanty-Mansi National District belonging to the Tyumen region in north-western Siberia. The area is vast -- 523,100 square kilometres, -- but the population density is low. The Mansi villages are usually situated in the river valleys (Konda, Lozva, Pelym, Sosva, Tavda) which range from the Ural mountains to the lower reaches of the Ob. In former times the habitat of the Mansi reached the areas west of the Urals, and their onetime settlements have been discovered in the vicinity of Perm and in the neighbourhood of the Kama and Pechora rivers.

http://www.eki.ee/books/redbook/introduction.shtml
« Last Edit: November 28, 2007, 01:17:51 pm by Boreas » Report Spam   Logged

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