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Dogs, Ancient and Modern: A Mythological History

Saturday, October 22, 2016 17:02
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Dogs, Ancient and Modern: A Mythological History

Dogs have been with us since the first stargazer cast an eye to the heavens. Were dogs up there, too — in the stars?

The answer is yes.

In ancient times the dog star guided and guarded, just as its counterpart, dog, did on earth. Inseparable from people, in caves and in castles, dogs have watched, warned, sported, lazed, lounged, and loved human beings more than any other earthly animal.

The indispensable dog probably made his earliest appearance as far back 6,000 years ago in Africa. However, some mythologists argue that the human-canine partnership started with the Afghan whose wet nose plugged up the holes in the Ark so it wouldn’t sink.

According to mythology, the Afghan (pictured) plugged up Noah’s Ark with his nose

According to mythology, the Afghan (pictured) plugged up Noah’s Ark with his nose (public domain)

Our dog heroes include the one who first brought fire to humankind. This dog’s mythical name was Rukuba, guardian of fire. The story goes that on the first morning of the world, no one knew what gods ruled the earth. They only knew that they were part of everything, and everything was part of them.

So in this world of wonders, a man named Nkhango went out exploring and the first thing he saw was something that sparkled. In front of it was a four-footed person with long ears. “What strangeness is this?” Nkhango asked.

“I am Rukuba, guardian of fire, but I am also called Dog.”

Section: – Reconstructing the story of humanity’s past


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