Unicorns in world’s cultures

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Jews and Re’em

And the great monsters were created in the Sixth ay, some still living among us, while others were wiped off the face of the earth during Flood. Re’em was a gigantic animal and only existed one pair, male and female. Scientists argue about the number of their horns: either was only one, like rhinos, either two, like a species of wild ox that has dissapeared in the 16th century. Re’ems lived each one at the end of the world: one in the East, the other one in the West, meeting halfway every 70 years to mate. The female then kills the male and expects her cub for 12 years. In the last year, she cannot move or roll from side to side, feeding only with vegetation that grown around it. Once born, her stomach splits – as in Iona – and dies. Twins are born, female and male, repeating the cycle. Unfortunately, the unicorn pair never lived in Noah’s Ark for being too big. So, either they drowned or were turned into narwhals. European Story

Once upon a time, a hunter in the forest saw a brilliant white unicorn in the distance, emerging from a river and gleaming like the moon. Enchanted by the sight, the hunter called together his friends and gave chase. But the unicorn knew that men could never catch him, so he playfully waited for the hunters to draw close before bounding out of view. After a while, the unicorn came to a stop in front of a beautiful young maiden sitting under a tree. She reached out, combed his curling mane and rubbed his horn until he lay his head in her lap. But it was a trap! Looking up at the maiden, the unicorn saw her brown eyes were filled with tears and realized her deceit too late–the dogs and men suddenly seized him and carried him away. Afterward, the maiden remained in the woods, despondent. As she leaned down to wash away her tears in the stream, a movement in the distance caught her eye: She couldn’t be sure, but she thought it was the shining horn of a unicorn disappearing into the night.

King David and Re’em

When he was a shepherd, he ascended a mountain without realizing that it was a re’em. When the creature woke up, it raised up David on his horn. Frightened, he vowed that if God saves him, he’ll build a temple big as re’em. Said and done, God sent a lion – the king of beasts, which made the unicorn bow, for David to flee. God had sent then a deer to be hunt by the lion, so the shepherd would get away from them.

Japanese culture and Kirin

Japanese people believe that the unicorn is a reincarnated god who punishes sin with its unique horn. He seeks justice and means good luck. If you see a Kirin instead of a black cat, consider yourself extremely lucky in the near future – provided you a virtuous man.

Chinese people and Ki-Lin

Ki (he) and Lin (she). It personifies all is good, pure and peaceful. It lives in Paradise and only visits the world when a wise philosopher is born and livee 1000 years. It appears as a deer with tail of an ox, horse hooves and body covered with shiny dragon or fish scales. Its back is covered in magical symbols and peculiar signs. Ki-Lin is one of the four Ling (4 spiritual creatures of Chinese mythology).

Russians and Indrik

They, too, have a colorful folklore, full of meanings and rich imagination. Indrik was a miraculous beast who ruled the animal kingdom. It was the Lord who lived in the holy mountain, in places only he’d walk on. When he moved, the earth moved with him. Except Russians, special people, had this unicorn with TWO horns on his forehead, sharing the crown of his kingdom with crocodiles and snakes. One legend says Indrik was the one who saved people from drowning.

Arabs and karkadamm

The unicorn of arab people has all the magical qualities: the horn brings luck, and those who eat its meat gets rid of demons. But many suggest that this karkadamm was, in fact, an oryx (species of antelope that, drawn by travelers in profile, has a single horn). Note: given the fact that Jewish and Chinese legends of the unicorn, his representation only in pair with each partner on each side of the world, seems to premeditate the androgynous myth. It’s just that, as in licorne case, when the halves find each other, they connect and die after mating. The earliest mention of the unicorn belongs to Herodotus, who in the third century BC wrote about a “wild donkey” from Africa; Aristotle followes after, confirming the existence of the unicorn, but without magical qualities; Pliny the Elder (the reign of Tiberius, in 79 AD) wrote about it in Cyclopedia “Historia Naturalis”. The conclusion? Unicorn exists in India, as a ferocious beast with the body of a horse, a deer head, elephant legs, tail and horn black boars. There is a Unicorn constellation, too: Monocero, 146 stars, founded by Jakob Bartsch in 1624, and it’s present in the Milky Way, which runs through its center.

Adam and the Unicorn

It is believed that God asked Adam to name everything he sees around him, after creating the world. The first named was the unicorn of the Garden of Eden, who received the animal kingdom to rule. With expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise, it descended to earth to symbolize chastity. There are references about this animal in the Holy Bible, too, but many believe it’s a confusion with another animal. In Jacob’s version, translated in 1611 – considered the most accurate version of the Bible – there are 9 entries in 5 different books by at least 5 different authors – Balaam, Moses, David, Isaac and God.

  • Numbers 23:22    “God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn.”
  • Numbers 24:8     “God brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn: he shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce them through with his arrows.”
  • Job 39:9   “Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib?”
  • Job 39:10    “Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee?”
  • Psalms 29:6     “He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.”
  • Psalms 92:10    “But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil.”
  • Deuteronomy 33:17    “His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh.”
  • Psalms 22:21    “Save me from the lion’s mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.”
  • Isaiah 34:7     “And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness.”

For those who have studied the Bible, we don’t think it was found a word like “unicorn, but rather buffalo”. Numerous translations of words and their slight distortion – although the meaning is the one that matters – are the subject of sarcasm among atheists, saying the Bible is a bunch of fairy tales and stories. However, if you’re interested in this subject, you’ll  find out that there are terms used in different languages in these holy books are changed, but the meaning remains the same. Also, in Noah Webster’s dictionary – First Webster Dictionary, 200 years old, Unicorn = animal with one horn; Monoceros, a name often given to rhinos. No horses, no mythological creatures. If you’re eager to say that rhino has two horns, in the same dictionary, Rhino = quadrupeds of two species, one of which with a single horn, unicorn. There is a second ones with two horns, bicorn. Nowadays, we know about 5 species, two with one horn.

Marco Polo’s story

“Scarcely smaller than elephants. They have the hair of a buffalo and feet like an elephant’s. They have a single large black horn in the middle of the forehead… They have a head like a wild boar’s… They spend their time by preference wallowing in mud and slime. They are very ugly brutes to look at. They are not at all such as we describe them when we relate that they let themselves be captured by virgins, but clean contrary to our notions.”

Nowadays

The narwhal, this Arctic unicorn, is a whale that swims in Arctic waters. Danish sailors and norse mercenaries took advantage of it in the medieval period, selling their horns to Europeans, claiming that narwhal is a descendant of the magic unicorn, thanks to its white spiral horn.

Genghis Khan to the Indian rescue! When the biggest Mongolian warrior and his glorious army were preparing to conquer India, after numerous conquests of territories of Asia, he came across a unicorn and knelt. Genghis Khan took a step back and realized that it is a divine sign from his father not to attack the country, ordering his troops to retreat. How come most ruthless warrior in history was tamed by a unicorn, saving India by the Mongol invasion?

Source: Encyclopledia Mythica

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