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 “Big Foot”

The Maero: Bigfoot in New Zealand Folklore

The Maero is a creature found in the mythology of the Māori, the indigenous people of New Zealand. This mythological creature may be described as a type of wildman, like the Yeti of the Himalayas, or...
An illustration of Vasilisa the Beautiful, by Ivan Bilibin.

A Freaky Fairy Tale of Ancient Folklore: Vasilisa the Beautiful and Baba Yaga

“[…] In the evening the girl laid the table and began waiting for Baba-Yaga. It grew dark. The black horseman swept by and it was night. The skulls’ eyes began to shine. The trees creaked, the dead...
'Patasola.’

Patasola: The Destructive Femme Fatale of the South American Jungle

Ancient civilizations who navigated the unforgiving coastlines of the North Atlantic, like the Vikings, feared, worshiped, and mythologized a pantheon of unforgiving sea creatures with origins half...
Elf Fantasy Fair 2010 hurdy gurdy.

The Hurdy Gurdy Was Essential Medieval Entertainment Enjoyed by Merrymakers Across Europe

The hurdy gurdy is a musical instrument, or more precisely, a string instrument, that traces its origin to the Middle Ages of Europe. The hurdy gurdy was initially used to play sacred music, before...
“Little Red Riding Hood and the wolf in the forest” (1881) by Carl Larsson.

Humans Traveled Far and Wide Before Little Red Riding Hood Ever Made It Through the Woods

“Little Red Riding Hood” is a fairytale most children have heard. But if you’re not familiar, it tells the story of a young girl who wears a red velvet hood and cape and travels alone through a...
No escape…Detail of a miniature of ‘Death Chopping Down a Tree’ - British Library, Royal 15 D V f. 36. Jehan Froissart. Chroniques. Netherlands, last quarter of the 15th century.

Medieval Villagers Were Ready to Mutilate Potential Zombies

For the first time, researchers have found evidence in a belief in the walking dead in medieval England, where they analyzed bones and skeletons that were decapitated, burned, and otherwise mutilated...
Sweet Ancient Melodies of the Ney: One of the Oldest Musical Instruments Still in Use

Sweet Ancient Melodies of the Ney: One of the Oldest Musical Instruments Still in Use

For proof that the ney (also spelled nay) is one of the oldest musical instruments still in use, you need look no further than the great Sumerian city of Ur. Archeologists have found the delicate...
An image showing the story of St. Guinefort.

Have You Ever Heard of An Animal Being Made a Saint? It Really Happened!

Saint Guinefort is perhaps one of the most unusual saints in Christianity. This unique 13th century saint was not even a human being, but a greyhound. Following his brave protection of a baby, which...
The Tale of Ivan Tsarevich, the Firebird, and the Grey Wolf

The Tale of Ivan Tsarevich, the Firebird, and the Grey Wolf

Ivan Tsarevich is a placeholder of sorts for the male protagonist of many famous Russian folk, myths and legends (Ivan is one of the most common names in Russia). Sometimes Ivan is the son of a...
Dažbog (Deriv). Infrared image showing a portion of the Milky Way.

The Mysterious Mix of Myth and Sky Observations in Serbian Folk Astronomy

Serbia is one of the Balkan countries that was influenced by many wars. However, even after centuries of very tense events, memory of the traditions from the first inhabitants has survived. Astronomy...
An illustration by Gennady Pavlishin from the book Folktales of the Amur: Stories from the Russian Far East showing a little baby, Azmun, found on an island in the river, who grows up to become a hero. This type of foundling-hero story has been told worldwide.

A Brothers Grimm Story Proven Right: Many Fairy Tales Stem from Ancient Oral Traditions

Many writers have speculated on the origin, antiquity and meaning of fairy tales. These fantastical stories often involve magic; strange, archaic situations; speaking animals; kings, masters and...