What if I told you that there are myths that for ages, has been suggesting to us the existence of humanoid creatures with wings, would you believe? Since the creation of the earth, there has been stories and believes that tends to show us that human like creatures which probably were created with wings has been in existence. Feel free to read and be amazed.
11. Myth of Fairies
Fairies are often shown to be young, sometimes winged, humanoid of small structure, they originally were depicted quite differently: tall, radiant, angelic beings or short, wizened trolls being two of the commonly mentioned forms.
The early modern fairies do not have any single origin, representing a conflation of disparate elements of folk belief, influenced by literature and by learned speculation (e.g. alchemy). In folklore, they are variously regarded as a “natural” but hidden species, as spirits of the dead, or as descendants of either fallen angels or demons
One common theme found among the Celtic nation (territories in Northern and Western Europe where Celtic languages or cultural traits have survived) describes a race of diminutive people who had been driven into hiding by invading humans. When considered as beings that a person might actually encounter, fairies were noted for their mischief and malice.
Fairies are generally described as human in appearance and having magical powers.
A belief held that they were a class of “demoted” angels. One popular story held that when the angels revolted, God ordered the gates shut; those still in heaven remained angels, those in hell became demons, and those caught in between became fairies. Others held that they had been thrown out of heaven, not being good enough, but they were not evil enough for hell
Their origins are less clear in the folklore, being variously dead, or some form of demon, or a species completely independent of humans or angels.
Fairies have their historical origin in the conflation of Celtic (Breton, Welsh) traditions in the Middle French medieval romance, e.g. as one of the beings that a knight errant might encounter
10. The philipine Manananggal
Manananggal, sometimes referred to as Tik-tik, is one of the most famous mythological creatures in the Philippines. The word “manananggal” literally means “one who detaches.” It can detach its upper body from its lower body after undergoing a gruesome transformation. At day light, it takes the form of a very beautiful woman, an effective way to spy for naïve victims and luring them to devour. When night falls, it retreats to a hiding spot to and begins its ritual and transform into a hideous, vampire-like hunter preying on humans.
The ritual starts with anointing its human body with a special type of oil. Slowly, its body grows a pair of enormous bat-like wings, very sharp teeth and a dreadfully long sharp tongue. In the process, it produces this very tiny shrieking sound repeatedly. Then it separates itself from its lower body and flies to the air to begin hunting for its prey, leaving its legs and the bottom half of its torso on the ground.
The manananggal flies around the quiet sky looking for babies most specially for fetuses inside mothers’ wombs. As to the case of human adults, it enjoys devouring human organs and entrails. When the manananggal spots the house of its victim, it waits patiently on the rooftop until the mother is fast asleep. When everyone if already sleeping, it makes a small hole from the roof and slowly lowers its tongue to touch the womb. Its tongue is said to be hollow, fine, and sharp like that of a needle. It uses its tongue to suck out fetuses, organs, and entrails from its victims.
9. The Angel Mythology in abrahamic religion.
An angel is a supernatural being or spirit found in various religions and mythologies most times believed to have wings. The Exodus 25 talked about cherubim, a kind of angel: Let one cherub be on the one side, and the other on the other. Let them cover both sides of the propitiatory, spreading their wings, and covering the oracle, and let them look one towards the other, their faces being turned towards the propitiatory wherewith the ark is to be covered.
In Abrahamic religions and Zoroastrianism, angels are often depicted as benevolent celestial beings who act as intermediaries between God or Heaven and Earth, or as guardian spirits or a guiding influence. Other roles of angels include protecting and guiding human beings, and carrying out God’s tasks. In art angels are often depicted with bird-like wings on their back.
8. The Garuda(Japanese Karura); the eagle-man mythology
The Garuda is a mythical bird-man creature of Hindu lore who was later adopted into the Buddhist pantheon as a protector deity. The gold-colored Garuda (Skt.) has a human body but the wings, face, and beak of an eagle-like bird. In early Hindu literature, Garuda is granted immortality by Lord Vishnu and serves asVishnu’s mount (link10)
The large bird-like creature or Humanoid Bird appears in both Hinduism and Budhhism. Garuda is the Hindu name for the constellation Aquila. The brahminy kite and phoenix are considered to be the contemporary representations of garuda. Indonesia adopts a more stylistic approach to the Garuda’s depiction as its national symbol, where it depicts a Japanese eagle (being much larger than a kite)
Garuda is depicted as having the golden body of a strong man with a white face, red wings, and an eagle’s beak and with a crown on his head. This ancient deity was said to be massive, large enough to block out the Sun
7. Myth of Seraph
Seraph is often described as evil creature with six wings on its body. The word seraph/seraphim appears three times in the Torah (Numbers 21:6–8, Deuteronomy 8:15) and four times in the Book of Isaiah (6:2–6, 14:29, 30:6). In Isaiah 6:2-6 the term is used to describe a type of celestial being or angel. The other five uses of the word refer to serpents
The vision in Isaiah Chapter 6 of seraphs in an idealised Jerusalem First Temple represents the sole instance in the Hebrew Bible of this word being used to describe celestial beings “… I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and His train filled the Hekhai (sanctuary). Above him stood the Seraphim; each had six wings; with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.” (Isaiah 6:1–3),
The 12th-century scholar Maimonides placed the seraphs in the fifth of ten ranks of angels in his exposition of the Jewish angelic hierarchy.
6. Winged Genie
The Assyrian kings, who ruled in Mesopotamia from the ninth through the seventh century B.C., projected an image of themselves as all-powerful, divinely sanctioned monarchs. They adorned their palaces with monumental friezes that displayed their authority and wealth.
The winged genie art, just like the one seen in .worcester art meseum, belonged to a series of slabs adorning the fabulous palace of the great ruler Assurnasirpal II at ancient Kalhu (biblical Calah, or modern Nimrud), the Assyrian capital in central Iraq. Standing in profile, according to artistic convention, the figure in the frieze is a winged “genius,” or protective being. He wears the horned cap, knee-length tunic, and long, fringed cape associated with divinities.
The Genii are a reappearing trait in ancient Assyrian arts, and are displayed most prominently in palaces or places of royalty. The two most notable places where the genius existed were Ashurnasirpai II’s palace Kalhu just as mentioned above and Sargon II’s palace Dur-Sharrukin. They appear in the reliefs of the walls and throughout the temples and palaces in a wide variety of ways.
A slab containing the sculpture of winged genie came be found in worcester art meseum: A Winged Genius, 883-859 B.C.
5. The Myth of Faravahar of Zoroastrianism.
This religious-cultural symbol was adapted by the Pahlavi dynasty to represent the Iranian nation.
The winged disc has a long history in the art and culture of the ancient Near and Middle East. Historically, the symbol is influenced by the “winged sun” hieroglyph appearing on Bronze Age royal seals (Luwian SOL SUUS, symbolizing royal power in particular). In Neo-Assyrian times, a human bust is added to the disk, the “feather-robed archer” interpreted as symbolizing Ashurlink.
The Faravahar, or better known in Persian as fravahr, is one of the best-known symbols of Zoroastrianism; the state religion of ancient Iran (persia).This religious-cultural symbol was adapted by thePahlavi dynasty to represent the Iranian nation.
Due to the ornate nature of the kings and genii, there are many times in which the distinction between the king and a genie are impossible. They are dressed in identical clothes and if the genie has no wings there is nothing separating it from a human.
4. The myth of jin
The book of Quran said: Allaah has created different types of jinn. Among them are some who can take on different forms, such as dogs and snakes; some who are like flying winds with wings; and some who can travel and rest. Abu Tha’labah al-Khushani said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘The jinn are of three types: a types that has wings, and they fly through the air; a type that looks like snakes and dogs; and a type that stops for a rest then resumes its journey.”
Jinn, jann or djinn are supernatural creatures in Islamic mythology as well as pre-Islamic Arabian mythology. They are mentioned frequently in the Quran (the 72nd ) and other Islamic texts and inhabit an unseen world, another universe beyond the known universe. The Quran says that the jinn are made of a smokeless and “scorching fire”,but are also physical in nature, being able to interact in a tactile manner with people and objects and likewise be acted upon
3.The philipine Ekek Mythology
In philipine mythology, Ekek (or Ek Ek) are creatures who are bird-like humans. They are winged-humans who search for victims at night. They hunger for flesh and blood. They are usually described by old folks as flying creatures that look like the manananggl but are unable to divide or split their body. Apart from the manananggl , they are also associated to the wak wak because of some similar characteristics. The only difference between a Wak Wak and Ekek is that Ekek has a bill like birds whereas the Wak Wak has none.
The Ekek can transform into a huge bird/bat at night and prowls. Similar to the Manananggal, the Ekek looks for sleeping pregnant women. Then it extends a very long proboscis into the womb and kills the fetus by draining its blood. It is said that while this is taking place, a “ek-ek-ek” sound is often heard.
In Greek tradition, it has the head of a human, the haunches of a lion, and sometimes the wings of a bird. It is mythicised as treacherous and merciless. Those who cannot answer its riddle suffer a fate typical in such mythological stories, as they are killed and eaten by this ravenous monster. This deadly version of a sphinx appears in the myth and drama of Oedipus. Unlike the Greek sphinx which was a woman, the Egyptian sphinx is typically shown as a man (an androsphinx).
In addition, the Egyptian sphinx was viewed as benevolent, but having a ferocious strength similar to the malevolent Greek version and both were thought of as guardians often flanking the entrances to temples.
1. Harpy Mythology (The Stymphalian Birds)
Harpy is a Greco-Roman mythology with the lower body, wings and claws of a bird and the chest and head of a woman often portrayed as very ugly and loathsome. Harpies were fierce, extremely ill tempered, and live in an atmosphere of filth and stench, contaminating everything they came near. They are associated with the wind ghost and the underworld. Their chief employer was Hades who sent them to bear away by force and bring tartarus those who were unwilling to die.But they also did vengeful errands to other gods.
They steal food from their victims while they are eating and carry evildoers (especially those who have killed their family) to the Erinyes. They seem originally to have been wind spirits. Their name means “snatchers”
In a notorious Argonaut story; King phineus of Thrace was given the gift of prophecy by Zeus. Angry that Phineus gave away the god’s secret plan, Zeus punished him by blinding him and putting him on an island with a buffet of food which he could never eat because the harpies always arrived to steal the food out of his hands before he could satisfy his hunger.
Written By: Aneke Francis Chinedu
Finally; all of the above Iconography are very Artistic
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