.........among many other of my spirit animals

011517 — Style Influence Map

I’ve been struggling to find my own style lately so I decided to go back and study my favorite art styles. This is a (condensed) list of the major studios that have shaped me as artist :)

[personal commentary under the cut]

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shaeiira  asked:

Magandang araw po~ Just curious but were there pre-col beliefs regarding spirit animals? Or maybe just any beliefs about animals in general ?

Not spirit animals per se but yes they did have certain animals they held in deep respect that they saw as omens and guides in their beliefs. Certain ones in particular were snakes (particularly pythons), crocodiles, lizards, certain birds, wild boars, and stingrays. I do have an article sitting around in my drafts (among many, many others that I have not gotten around to finishing unfortunately) that talks about all this, however I’ll just list a few here.

Stingrays were animals of protection, with people using the barbed tails as amulets against evil spirits and the aswang.

Snakes were greatly revered along with crocodiles as they were seen as messengers of the ancestors, in the Bisayas they were even see as an ancestor in the belief of a person have a twin snake marking the individual as protected and guided by the ancestors. They along with crocodiles are used in a majority of our traditional motifs both in tattooing and textiles. There are also various beliefs throughout the Philippines from the Kapampangans to the Manobo where there is a large snake that lies in the center pillar holding the world, circling around it and whenever it moves it is the reason why earthquakes occur. (For the Bisayans instead of a snake it is a wild boar). They were also seen as symbols of protection against illnesses and one of the meanings behind certain python motifs.

Crocodiles were also seen as messengers of the ancestors and the ancestors themselves. It is why we have the words for crocodile and ancestor, nuno and ninuno as being the same word because back then crocodiles were believed to be our dead ancestors. Before the Spaniards came, crocodiles were found everywhere and people did in fact bathe, swim, wash their clothes, etc. in proximity of them. It was believed that if you were attacked by a crocodile it was the ancestors responding to something you did unjustly. They would say prayers and give offerings to them whenever they passed. 

Lizards, which were very similar to crocodiles, were also considered as messengers, in particular the common house gecko most people see crawling up the walls of houses in the Philippines. They gave omens of good and bad luck.

Birds were again seen as messengers and omens, certain dove species like the limokon or the crow which were seen as a messenger or a representation of Bathala Meykapal in some beliefs and also an actual god among the Tagalogs known as Meylupa.