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Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Early Forerunners of The Mapinguari

I had mentioned this matter on several occasions before but now is a good time to remark upon the specifics. A strange creature appears in the Piri Reis map in the area which we known today as the Guianas and NE Brazil in South America:

And this version comes from Austin Whittall's site Paragonian Monsters.

In fact it is a well-known allegation that there were such creatures in this area from the time of the discovery of America and on: Sir Walter Rayleigh mentioned them as living in the area of the Guianas. This reference is taken as an early reference to the legendary apes of South America, the Mono Rey.

Blemmyes (legendary creatures)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For the non-legendary tribe see Blemmyes.

Blemmyea, 1544 woodcut in the Cosmographia by Sebastian Münster.
The Blemmyes (Latin Blemmyae) was a tribe which became fictionalized as a race of creatures believed to be acephalous (headless) monsters who had eyes and mouths on their chest. Pliny the Elder writes of them that Blemmyes traduntur capita abesse, ore et oculis pectore adfixis ("It is said that the Blemmyes have no heads, and that their mouth and eyes are put in their chests"). The Blemmyes were said to live in Africa, in Nubia, Kush, or Ethiopia, generally south of Egypt.
Some authors derive the story of the Blemmyes from this, that their heads were hid between their shoulders, by hoisting those up to an extravagant height. Samuel Bochart derives the word Blemmyes from two Hebrew terms, one a negation, the other meaning "brain", implying that the Blemmyes were people without brains.[1]

In literature

To the west of Caroli are divers nations of Cannibals, and of those Ewaipanoma without heads. ---Sir Walter Raleigh, The Discovery of Guiana.
And of the Cannibals that each other eat, The Anthropophagi, and men whose heads Do grow beneath their shoulders. ---Shakespeare, Othello (circa 1603).
.....[Wikipedia quote discontinued]

--and it is not a new idea that their appearance as described is a reference to the anthropoid apes whose heads hang down below their shoulders: in Africa, the description probably originally applied to Chimpanzees and the trait mistakenly attributed to a real human tribe in Traveler's tales (The real tribe is the subject of a second artivcle at Wikipedia.)

Some of the Blemmyes were also said to be Cyclopses, and the ones in the orient are possibly derived from descriptions of orangutans:
And in this case the long "skirt of hair" which sweeps the ground is also suggestive, albeit such hair should be all over the body if it were a real orangutan. The description of the orangutan as a cyclops also occurs of description of the Muwas (means orangutan) and Kafre in the Philippines.Some of the Blemmye are depicted as covered all over in body hair, and sometimes to have hooves for feet.

The point that I have always made was that the description of the Blemmye matches the Mapinguari, sometimes also including the single-footed feature of the Sciapods as well.

So that Mapinguaris have been described in that traditional form since the latest 1400s and the early 1500s.

Now as a matter of fact there are also several precolumbian statues from Colombia that have been described as "Apelike" or "Gorilla-like" and which could also be attempts to show the same original creature (Heuvelmans suggests this but does not illustrate any of the staues)

The overal effect is quite different but it is easy enough to pick out individual apelike features- long arms, short legs, hands held cupped in a "Knuckle-walking" position, fanged canines, flat nose, brow ridge and circular eyes staring straight ahead-but the apelike appearance is usually disputed by the experts. The possibility does at least continue that these are meant to be real representations of real apelike creatures, hence relatable to the Mapinguari.

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