Fun and Frolicking: Renn Fest 2016!

So Steve and some of our pals(Blue,Orangebird, JoJo and J )went to the Georgia Renaissance Festival a few weekends ago, and I went again with another set of friends(Phrog and Dooflunkey) yesterday. When I go, I love to go on a “creature hunt”, since monsters of all description are all around in the art and flags and crafts and tapestries and statuary and so forth. Here are some of my finds:

Graves: The Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

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Another little hobby of mine is learning about the symbols on grave markers; these pictorials can represent what the deceased person did in life as far as their job or hobbies,or indicate a belief or religion. While exploring a cemetery in Snellville I came across this symbol several times. It is a chain with three links,and in the links are the letters “FLT”. This represents the fraternal association known as The Independent Order of Odd Fellows . The letters “FLT”.stand for friendship, love and truth.

Monsters of Central America:The Cadejo!

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Cadejos are creatures in Salvadoran, Belizean,Nicaraguan, Costa Rican, Honduran, Guatemalan, Panamanian and southern Mexican folklore  that are usually seen as large shaggy dogs,but are not quite dogs. They often look as if they are part goat, with horns and sometimes even cloven-hoofed feet. A goat-like smell often accompanies a cadejo. There is a good white cadejo and an evil black cadejo. Both are spirits that appear at night to travelers.

Seeing a white cadejo means you will be protected by it on your journey and good fortune will come your way.

Seeing a black cadejo, however, does not bode well for you, for the black cadejo exists as three separate species: one is the devil himself assuming this form and who will drag your soul to hell, another is a man-eating beast, and the third one is a hybrid of the two. It is a strong and dangerous creature but can be killed by a well-armed person.

Dragons of Europe:The Zmaj of Serbia!

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In Serbia, the zmaj is revered(usually) as a benevolent being that is similar to the dragons of East Asia. A common description of these dragons states that they  have a ram’s head and a serpent’s body. In addition to having great strength and wisdom, they are said to protect the people from the Ala, or Azjada, another creature that was  believed to bring bad weather and storms that destroy crops.

The zmaj are also reputed to be able to take on different forms, including those of human beings. In human form, they were able to engage in one their favorite pastimes–the pursuit of women. Some zmaj are thought to be so engrossed in this activity to the extent that they abandon their duties protecting farmlands from bad weather. If the crops were destroyed by storms, villagers would gather to oust the zmaj from the houses of local women. The lust of the zmaj for mortal women is also a major theme in a Serbian folk tale known as The Tsarina Militza and the Zmaj of Yastrebatz.