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The Savage Man Of England: Tales Of The Wodewose

Nov 23, 2007
Unknown creatures from folk tales and myths have the ability to become as realistic as possible to the cultures that create them. Along with beliefs and theories on the existence of wild men in Asia and North America, comes the tales of a wild being or savage man that lived in early periods in England. These wild folk have been the heart of many English legends and stories, and were called the wodewose, from the Anglo-Saxon term wudawusa, which meant wood-dweller.

Though the wodewose was said to have existed in the region before the 15th century, tales about the wodewose flourished during the Elizabethan Era in the 16th century. The wodewose is described as a large bearded man whose entire body was covered in curly hair. He wore no articles of clothing, and carries with him a large wooden club. Late-medieval church art in the areas of Norfolk and Suffolk in East Anglia have thousands of depictions of the wodewose on their structures.

Images of the wodewose can be seen carved in stone and wood decorations on Anglican churches. There were even pictures and books printed during the 15th century which told of stories of appearances made by the wodewose. Some historians of the church believe that the wodewose was used to symbolized paganism, to further stress the contrast between opposing religions at that time. Many stone statues depicting the wodewose show the hairy man defeating a beast such as a lion or a dragon-like creature.

Variations of the name can be written or spoken as wudewasa, wudu, or wood houses. There have been explanations as to the significance of the wooden club carried by the wodewose. Historians theorize that the wodewose may have been some ancestor of ancient man, and during the periods of its existence, the wood-dweller has learned to fashion and used tools from wood.

It is also believed that the wodewose may have sprung from interpretations of the Greek myth, the satyr, or a creature that is half-man and half-beast. Some additional descriptions of the wodewose say that only the feet were not covered with thick hair. Like the Neanderthals, their brow ridges protruded, and they had deep-set eyes. Their arms were abnormally long, while their legs were shorter. Known to be shy creatures, the wodewose have been told be numerous accounts to appear to humans during the winter.

Many attempts to link the stories of the wodewose with that of the North American Bigfoot were made. Some accounts even claim that in many parts of the world, hominids exist up to the present day. Hominids are a species in which humans and primates originated. Various versions of the wodewose can be read about in Italian, Spanish, German, Norwegian, Chinese, Indonesian, Mongolian, and other cultural accounts.

Here are some names associated with creatures that bore similarities to the wodewose: vedi of Croatia, basajaun in Spain, sasquatch in Canada, yeren of China, and almas of Mongolia, yowie of Australia, yeti of Tibet and Nepal, and many others.

There is a website that describes the Wodewose and numerous other creatures of Cryptozoology in detail, this website is called: Unknown Creatures and it may be found at this url: http://www.unknown-creatures.com

You may publish this article in your ezine, newsletter or on your web site as long as it is reprinted in its entirety and without modification except for formatting needs or grammar corrections.
About the Author
Robert W. Benjamin has been in the software business on the internet for over 7 years, and has been producing low-cost software for the past 25+ years. He first released software on the AMIGA and C64 computer systems in the late 1970's-80's. Robert has written many articles pertaining to numerous subjects, and he has also developed over 6 different websites.
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