Sunday, December 1, 2013

Gargoyles and Foo Dogs, Protectors

I love gargoyles! They're creepy but also whimsical.

The word "gargoyle" comes from the French word "gargouille" meaning throat. Gargoyles are rain spouts in the fantastic forms of creatures -- animals, man, a combination of both, or some figment of the mind of some medieval artist.

Gargoyles were built in Europe from the 11th - 13rh centuries. Some people say they were created to look scary in order to drive away evil from buildings. They were the protectors of the buildings. (Read A History of Gargoyles.)

Curiously the Chinese also have protectors, the Foo Dogs, that guard gates and entrances. Foo Dogs had earlier origins, from 206 BC-AD 220. They always come in pairs, a male and a female with a cub

It always fascinates me when people from different time frames and cultures, come up with the same idea. What it obviously means is that men have common needs and can come up with the same solution. In the case of gargoyles and foo dogs, the Europeans and Chinese felt the need to protect their structures as well as themselves.

Read also
Gargoyles - this site has a lot of information

Visiting the American Southwest
Pre-colonial gold in Cebu
Gold and Ancient Cebu, Philippines
Grand Tour of Egypt 2
More on Turkey 3
Mother Goddess Figures: Food for Thought
Lauren & Cecilia in Thailand and Cambodia
That's all for now,

tags: gargoyle, gargoyles, foo dog, Medieval, Chinese, protectors

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