To wrap up our journey through Africa, some information about the African Dragon from “The Fortuitous Meeting”:
Like most cultures around the world, Africa has its own tales of dragons. In fact, Africa, the birthplace of man, might just be the birthplace of dragons as well.
Theodore de Bry’s sixteenth-century engraving of Africa: Antelopes, snakes, elephants, and of course–a dragon!
The Serene Dragon website lists twenty dragon legends which come from the top to the bottom of Africa. Even one of the Yoruba Orisas, Oshumare, is known as a rainbow serpent. This Orisa is not just specific to the Yorubas, but is common among many peoples of Western Africa. The Ewe-speaking peoples know him as Anyiewo, and the Fon-speaking peoples call him Aido-Hwedo.
In Andre Thevet’s Singularities of Antarctic France, published in 1558, Thevet says that Africa contains “an enormous quantity of savage animals–lions, tigers, dragons, leopards, buffalos, hyenas, panthers, and others.” Modern historians interpret his use of the word “dragon” as referring to crocodiles. But of course we know better! 😉
In “The Fortuitous Meeting”, Oludara meets a dragon in Africa. It is described as: “A massive green snake, except for some tiny, apparently useless wings and several stubby pairs of legs which it used to propel itself in a half-walking, half-slithering fashion. The scales appeared impenetrable, like painted iron plates stacked upon each other.”
And with that, we can close this post with Paulo Ítalo’s amazing interpretation of the beast: