I have amended that stance: there is good proof that the iguana lizards were being called "Goatsuckers" in Spanish even as the equivalent monitor lizards were being blamed for sucking the milk of goats in the 1960s and back to the 1920s, and this from an article published on the internet by 2000. Furthermore, several of the native terms SOUND like "Chupas" up to including this most recent posting about "Zupays" using the Peruvian Quechua word for "Devils". And so I take back that qualification I had made in the first place: The NAME is in there, too. And from PreColumbian times.
July 15, 2011
CHUPAS and "ZUPAYS" of South America:
The recently discovered South American dinosaur "Zupaysaurus" has the first part of its name the Quechua word for "Devil" and it was named that because it was said to resemble "Devil (Dragon) Lizards" reported in the Northern-Argentina area. These were the local equivalent to "Chupacabras" reports and they were said to resemble the agressive small dinosaurs called "Raptors" by the fans (After Velociraptor, the word "Raptor" alone only means "Hunter" and conventionally refers more properly to Birds-of-Prey.) "Living Dinosaur" proponents have heard reports of such creatures and I recall at least one recent posting about the creatures on the CFZ Blog. It should be noted that the Marpilli was suppsed to be a sawbacked lizardlike creature blamed for cattle mutilations as far back as the 1920s going by Whittall's sources.
Zupaysaurus the "Devil Lizard" much like tradtional "Devil Lizards" of South American mythology. The mythological creatures are very like the "Mini-Rex" or River Liz[ards] reported in the SW USA, and to the biped-lizardlike Chupacabras. Like those reports, the South American original is likely to be a large spinybacked Iguana lizard that is capable of running on its hind legs: Likely the males have red eyes. It is possibly a species of the genus Iguana if it is anything like the similar reports from Mexico. It is probably fair to refer to the original mythical creatures as Zupays (Devils)Best Wishes, Dale D.
May 17, 2011
Tatzelwurm Follw-up Article Last Dragons of Europe Addendum:
While we are on the subject of "Chupacabras", I find that the Aztec conventionalized design for a lizard, Cuetzpalin, also corresponds to the "Reptile" Chupacabras from Central America and to the depictions I cited earlier as its folkloric fore-runner before the more recent worldwide "Chupacabras" flap. And I reiterate that "Chupacabras" was originally one form of the "Milk Snake" myth, which is also known to attach to lizards as well as snakes, and that the "Goat suckers" were originally thought to suck the milk out of goats, not blood: the vampyric aspects of the myth come from other sources and attached on to an originally less sensational story.
Best Wishes, Dale D.
"There's a goat-sucker which is living and real; like the mardkhora, it lives in Persia, near Baghdad in fact. It is the varanus lizard, a living species. It has the appearance of a Rhinegold dragon, being about three feet long with the body and tail of a lizard, a flattish head, a thin forked tongue and a loud hiss. The local name for it was buz majjeh, or 'goat-sucker'. Freya Stark, who lived in Iraq in the 1920's, writes of traveling near Baghdad, in a derelict local taxi; in the desert, she writes, there were dozens of huge and clumsy lizards whom her taxi-driver enjoyed running over. When she tried to discourage him, he said the lizards crept up on flocks of sheep from behind, and sucked the udders of the ewes without their noticing. Nor was this a joke played on Freya, because British students collecting field specimens in Iraq in the nineteen-sixties described the very same lizard and heard the very same story...
"The idea of the goat-sucker is now in Iraqi folklore; it is in American Indian folklore; it is in modern American mythology. I think it went from Persia to Arabia via the Muslims, and from Arabia to southern Spain. The island of Puerto Rica was settled by immigrants from southern Spain. The Iraqi legend of the monster that crept up on goats and sucked their milk, appeared in new clothes in the New World; it may have collided with the idea of the mantequero, the monster which sprang on travelers and sucked their blood or fat; it may have collided with the idea of the goat-sucker bird. Or perhaps the goat-sucker bird is descended from the goat-sucker lizard; who knows?"
-This is a variation on the "Milksnake" story which goes back to Roman times. And the Varanus lizard is measured snout-to-vent: three feet does not count the tail. And not only monitor lizards are blamed for sucking the milk from goats: skinks, geckoes, iguanas and Lacerta lizards are libelled with the same myth in other places. In this case we can say that the documentary evidence shows that "Chupacabras" was a dragon lizard living near Baghdad in the 1920s and the 1960s, and an iguana lizard living in the US Southwest and Mexico in the 1970s and 1980s as an "Animal mutilations scapegoat" immediately prior to its transmogrification into a modern mythical monster. [And yes, the story about the bird follows after the story involving the snake or lizard, and is derived from it]
Sunday, 27 March 2011
Saturday, 26 March 2011
Up until recently the name 'Chupacabras' did not refer to the bizarre cryptid it is defined as any more. Recently, Benjamin Radford explained what he took to be the 'Origin of the Chupacabras' in a Puerto Rican woman's recollection of a recent horror film at the time. Because of the H. R. Giger-inspired monster in the movie, that woman produced a sketch Radford claims became the template for all the other 'Chupacabras' sightings from then on.
The Radford Explanation: witness's sketch above and the monster "sil" from the movie SPECIES.
Only there is more than one thing being called a chupacabras, as I have explained before on earlier CFZ blog entries. And because of that we have more than one origin story.
Chupacabras-dog such as is the common type in Texas: and Mexican Hairless Dogs
Here is the passage I posted in the group when I first found out about the reptilian-chupacabras being folkloric in Mexico, posted in October of 2009 (before I found it I thought it had been 2008) I later reprinted the entire text from the site and I am still looking for that message. One of the names as I recall was Timbo. There is also an exactly equivalent tradition in Northern Argentina.
... I saw a Mexican Folklore page (in Spanish) where the Reptile-Chupacabras was called by the name of a traditional "Grave robber". That would have been the first version I had heard of in connection to animal mutilation[sheep, in Navajo country] cases in the SW in the 1970s, and in fact it has separately become a standard monster in the Dungeons and Dragons FRPG game, as the "Bonesnapper", another small-dinosaur representation. Until I saw the Mexican Folklore page I had no inkling that the creature was actually out of documented Folklore.
And then last night I had an important additional piece of information, which I added to the original message:
I did a little more research and I found out that the name does not originate in Mexico but in Texas, and it is a Comanche word meaning "Hairless." Hence it was an appropriate name for a hairless dog as well as a reptile. I am not certain how widely circulated the name was in earlier days, but I assume it was once synonymous with the creature sometimes called "Mountain Boomer" (The first proper name I knew for the creature, but actually a mis-applied name for the collared lizard, which likewise runs on its hind legs)
So anyway that nails down that particular loose end.
Best Wishes, Dale D.
(Common mountain boomer or collared lizard. The cryptid version is said to stand up 2-4 feet high on its hind legs and to have exaggerated crests down its back. The cryptid version was being blamed for cattle mutilations in the Southwest back in the mid-1970s, Personal Information.)
I had remarked before that I first heard of a chupacabras creature in the mid 1970s as a FOAF report originating in the American SW: and it was described basically as being like a small spiky-backed dinosaur or a big iguana lizard, said to be raiding livestock. It was actually a story meant as an explanation of 'cattle mutilations', then a big news item. so the first example I heard of was a cattle-mutilations creature that was a spiky-backed lizard, and the name chupacabras not invented for such a creature yet.
I have since learned that there is a traditional Mexican version of this small dinosaur creature, usually said to raid graves and eat the bodies. A version of the legend has made its way into standard D&D lore as the fantasy creature known as the bone-snapper.
At any rate, when chupacabras reports proper started to emerge later on, several of the reports specified a small dinosaur or large spiky-backed lizard creature, sometimes said to run or jump away on its hind legs. The montage cuts together several representations of these.
Eberhart's Mysterious Creatures has an entry on such creatures under the heading 'Giant North American Lizard' but the first name I heard in common usage for them was Mountain Boomer. Other sources call them 'Mini-Rex.' And Ivan Sanderson's archives included separate letters from two unrelated sources writing about such a 'Small dinosaur' from the Arkansas-Oklahoma area, neither one of which was ever published. Some iguanid lizards do get up and run away on their hind legs, including the collared lizard (the more usual 'Mountain Boomer').
When the spiky-backed 'Chupacabras' reports started coming out of Puerto Rico, some sort of large iguanid lizard might have been involved. It probably would not be the same species as reported in Texas, Arkansas-Oklahoma, Colorado, Arizona and Mexico but it could have been something similar. The depiction does look like the front end of an iguana. And male iguanid lizards are known to have red eyes.