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Saturday, 24 August 2013

Esau and Sei'rim

A side discussion in the world of Bigfoot involves the Biblical story of Jacob and Esau.
One (presumably fundamentalist Christian) site discussed the matter in this way:
They [Bigfoot] could be wild men, but fully human. Neanderthal comes to mind. Neanderthal is usally pictured as a knuckle-dragging missing link, but even evolutionary scientists have recanted this and now admit that Neanderthal stood upright and was a man and no ape or missing link. In fact, Neanderthal was every bit as smart as we are, if their skull size is any indication.I’m reminded of the biblical account of Jacob and Esau. Esau was described as a hairy man with red hair. It’s possible he was simply a hairy man. It’s also possible that he was ethnically a Neanderthal. wrap your mind around this: If Neanderthal is fully human, given his specific bone characteristics, if he were alive today, we would simply think of him as a specific ethnic type, much as we readily recognize someone of Asian, African or Caucasian descent today. Now what if that ethnic type was also covered in red hair. It might be a bit of a stretch, except that some ethnicities are extremely hairy and others are nearly hairless. And some ethnicities [Irish for example] favor red or black hair [no, I'm not calling the Irish Neaderthals. I'm making a point about how hair color is an ethnic trait.]
Anyway, what if Esau was of Neanderthal ethnicity?
Consider also Enkidu of the Gilgamesh epic. A red-haired, hairy wild man. So wild that nature is not really afraid of him, until he spends time with other men [specifically a woman] and growing wise, the animals begin to fear him. In time, he grows more and more learned in the ways of men. The Creationist theory, if we were assuming the Neaderthalid scenario, is that some of Noah’s children’s offspring degenerated into wild men. The Gilgamesh epic would then be an account of how one was redeemed from the wild and re-educated in the ways of his contemporaries. We have an analogous situation with Australian Aborigines, who have degenerated to a “primitive” state but nonetheless, as an ethnicity, still possess the intellectual potential to become college professors — and some have!
In any case, Esau’s children or kindred could be still further degenerated today and might avoid modern man for fear of him.
That’s one theory anyhow.
–Sirius Knott
A friend on Facebook shared this depiction which shows the Se'irim of the bible living in caves in Edom (Southern area of modern Israel and Jordan) and probably involved in the story of Jacob and Esau (The Edomites thought to be akin to these Se'irim)
Esau hairy, with ape, Johann Scheuchzer, 1731

The name Se'ir seems to have been transcribed into Greek as Satyr (Heuvelmans has it this way, the ' sign is a catch in the throat used as a consonant) And Wildmen referred to by travelers to the Holy Lands at the time of the Crusades and Renaissance called such Wildmen Satyrs also. There also was a continuing tradition that these creatures were completely hairy al over, something which is not always obvious in the traditions, stories or illustrations of them.

From George Eberhart, Mysterious Creatures (2002) 


Mythical WILDMAN of Southern Europe.
In its earliest form, it was a Greek elemental spirit of the forests and mountains. Later, it came to represent the undeveloped, bestial state of humanity or, alternatively, an idyllic past. Satyrs were the companions of the wine god Dionysus. Etymology: From the Greek satyros, of uncertain origin, though possibly derived from the Hebrew se’ir (“hairy[goatlike] demon”).  
Variant names: Fatui ficarii, FAUN, PAN, SILENUS.  
Physical description: Covered with hair. Low forehead. Small horns. Monkeylike face. Pointed ears. Snub nose. Full lips. Long beard. Legs, hooves, and tail of a goat or horse. Behavior: Found in small groups. Lascivious. Loves to dance. Plays music on reed pipes (syrinx) or cymbals. Terrorizes shepherds and travelers. Habitat: Woodlands. Distribution: Northern Greece; Egypt; Turkey; India; other remote islands and lands. Significant sightings: In the fifth century B.C., the hide of a Satyr named Marsyas was a famous tourist attraction near the source of the Menderes River in south-central Turkey. In 86 B.C., a Satyr was found sleeping in a meadow called the Nymphaeum, near Durrës, Albania, and taken to the Roman general Lucius Cornelius Sulla, who was passing through the area after sacking Athens in the First Mithridatic War. The Satyr’s speech could not be understood and sounded like a neighing or bleating. Euphemus the Carian was blown off course to an unknown island in the Mediterranean that was populated by Satyrs. The creatures had red hair and horse’s tails, and as soon as Euphemus landed, they tried to rape the women on board his ship. St. Jerome reported that in the early fourth century, Emperor Constantine traveled to Antakya, Turkey, to view the remains of a Satyr that had been preserved in salt. 
Possible explanations: (1) A symbol of precivilized, Neolithic Greece. (2) Early Greek tribal groups who followed the god PAN and revered goats as their totem animals. (3) Folk memory of Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis) or archaic Homo sapiens. (4) An imaginative explanation for fossils of large vertebrates that are occasionally found in Greece and Turkey. (5) Indian Satyrs may have been based on monkeys. (6) As early as the fifth century B.C., cleverly manufactured Satyr masks for Greek dramatic performances were made from hair and skins. Fake Satyrs were probably created as tourist attractions out of human mummies fitted with such masks and other stage props. 
Sources: Lucretius, The Nature of the Universe, ed. R. E. Latham (Baltimore, Md.: Penguin, 1951), pp. 199–201 (V. 925–1010); Pliny the Elder, Natural History: A Selection, trans. John F. Healy (New York: Penguin, 1991), pp. 55, 57–58, 78–79 (V. 7, 46; VII. 24); Pomponius Mela, De Chorographia, III. 9; Plutarch, “Life of Sulla,” in Fall of the Roman Republic, trans. Rex Warner (New York: Penguin, 1958), p. 97; Pausanias, A Description of Greece, trans. W. H. S. Jones (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1918) (I. 23.5–6); J. D. P. Bolton, Aristeas of Proconnesus (Oxford: Clarendon, 1962), pp. 89–91; Richard Bernheimer, Wild Men in the Middle Ages (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1952), pp. 93–102; New Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology (New York: Putnam, 1968), pp. 160–161; Peter Costello, The Magic Zoo (New York: St. Martin’s, 1979), pp. 61–62; Timothy Gantz, Early Greek Myth: A Guide to Literary and Artistic Sources (Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993), vol. 1, pp. 135–139, 146; Adrienne Mayor, The First Fossil Hunters: Paleontology in Greek and Roman Times (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2000), pp. 236–238.

Below is another good depiction of a Wildman, Eastern Bigfoot or American Almas, Note the rather prominent egg-shaped cranium and large red (-irised) eyes, and the Neanderthal-shaped nose and bony ridges of the face. The creature is balding, as some males are, with the longer hair of the top of the head fallen out and replaced with a sparse growth of short, thinned hair.Apart from that, the creature has a prominent beard. The beard ans balding are both human-like features although sometimes also found in apes.

Tslu 'Kalu, Cherokee Hairy Man or Wildman meets a boy in the woods
Michael Jon Wawrzyniec This is my land, still not done yet ,from BIGFOOT PRINTS

1 comment:

  1. I definitely agree Dale, when I first read about Esau I immediately thought that it was a Biblical reference to Neanderthals. I think that the part about Easu being the first child born is symbolic of them being early species of human which we eventually lived alongside.


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