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Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Little Lithuanian Dragons

I thought this was interesting: an internet art-collector's site was advertising this dish as being a piece of Lithuanian Folk art, depicting "Dragons and other legendary monsters"
Except for the addition of the uselessly short stubby wings, the two larger creatures shown on the plate seem to be pretty good representations of giant salamanders such as are known to live in Japan and China. From some descriptions of "Small (2-foot-long to 4-5 foot-long) four-legged dragons" we had already come to suspect the presence of giant salamanders as water monsters and legendarily as dragons in and around Lithuania (Smij, Ukis / Pukys / Puhkis / Puk / Puuk /Pisuhand / Puik and Tulihand in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Karelia, said to bring luck if they live on your farm but they can bring disaster if displeased. They can deliver material goods to the farmer's benefit, but the goods will have been stolen from neighbours. Source: Giants, Monsters, and Dragons)

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