african legend

For decades, there have been few photographic images of Harriet Tubman depicting how the abolitionist and Civil War spy looked in her lifetime.

Now there’s one more.

New York City auction house Swann Galleries has announced that it will auction a newly discovered photo of Tubman March 30.

Kate Clifford Larson, author of the biography “Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero,” estimated that Tubman was between 43 and 46 years old when the photo was taken, placing it shortly after the end of the Civil War. At the time, Tubman was living in Auburn, where she had purchased land in 1859 from then-Sen. William H. Seward — land that will soon become the Harriet Tubman National Historical Park.

Larson said that in her 20 years of researching Tubman, she’s been sent dozens of photos of black women by people claiming to have discovered a new image of the soon-to-be face of the $20. But not one has actually depicted Tubman.

someone: he-
me: taylor swift posted a video of a african bush viper yesterday and today she posted another video of it and the first video was 10 seconds long and the second was 20 seconds long so that means she’s going to release the album on october 20 and us weekly confirmed a new song is coming on friday and the ts6 era is finally starting and i’m pretty sure i’m going insane


Muhammad Ali with Malcolm X, Sam Cooke, his mother Odessa Clay and a crowd of fans at his home in Miami on February 28, just 3 days after winning his first Heavyweight title vs Sonny Liston on February 25, 1964.  

Photos by Tony Triolo

Namibian Flying Snake

The Namibian flying snake is an odd gargantuan serpent that is possibly derived from African legends of dragons.
It is described as being yellow, brown with light spots, or black. It is reported as being 9-25 feet long and can supposedly camoflauge into it’s surroundings. It has many other strange features such as a bioluminescent crest, horns, a neck that can inflate and deflate easliy possibly by gulping down air, and leathery bat-like wings that it doesn’t glide with but is capable of sustained flight. It has a wingspan of 30 feet. It is said to make a loud and frightening roaring sound. It is also said to smell like tar, and to get into the air, it hurls itself down hills. It is apparently covered in scales.

It is found in the Karas Region, Namibia; in Drakensburg South Africa. This serpent was said to be seen in 1942 by

Michael Esterhuise. He was tending to his flock of sheep when he saw a massive snake hurl itself down a hill. He said he encountered it 2 other times.

The legend of this strange creature possibly derived from the legends of African dragons or the Kongamato. It could also be an exaggeration of a new species of flying snake.

Mythological Throwback Thursday: Werewolves

It’s Mythological Throwback Thursday again, and we’re in a wolfish kind of mood. Maybe it’s because the full moon is coming this week. Let’s dip into some werewolf lore, to be ready!

Werewolves are creatures from European folklore; shapeshifters born or cursed with the ability to change between human and wolf forms. Tales of people changing or being changed into wolf-shapes stretch back to ancient times: Herodotus the Greek historian claimed that the Neuri tribe, who lived in what is now Ukraine, could change into wolves once a year, for several days. In the Middle Ages, Viking tales of the Ulfhednar, the wolf-coated men, bear resemblance to more modern depictions of werewolves. They wore wolf-skins in battle, fought savagely and it’s claimed they channeled wolf spirits to increase their strength.

Even in lands where wolves were not common predators, legends spread of shapeshifters. Tales of weretigers were common in India, Indonesia, Malaysia and China. African legends told of deities that could take the form of pumas, lions or leopards, and would pass on these abilities to any mortal progeny.

In European folklore there were said to be telltale traits that werewolves possessed. People with monobrows, curved fingernails or low-set ears were all suspected. In Russia people checked for bristles beneath the tongue. Werewolves were sometimes believed to be distinguishable from regular wolves because of their lack of tails. These days one of the most common associations with werewolves is the full moon, but in olden times this was not a universal belief, only becoming firmly linked with the 1914 film ‘The Wolfman’.

There were many different ‘cures’ for werewolves. A common one was ingesting wolfsbane, a classic curative (but highly poisonous). In Sicily, piercing a werewolf’s hands with nails was considered a surgical alternative. Exorcism was also a staple– many believed that werewolves obtained their powers from dark sorcery or demonic intervention. While werewolves were not averse to religious iconography in the same way as vampires, they were thought to be particularly susceptible to certain metals, principally silver (though iron was also considered effective by some). If all else failed, a silver bullet could end a werewolf problem.

Werewolf hunts and trials became a feature of 15th and 16th century Europe, like witch hunts. Perhaps the most infamous case was of a German fellow called Peter Stumpf, a one-handed man who claimed under torture to possess a magical wolfskin girdle which he could use to transform into a wolf, and that he had used this power to murder and eat fourteen children and two pregnant women. Testimonies against him claimed that the ‘werewolf’ was also missing a paw. For Stumpf’s crimes he was brutally tortured to death, in order to prevent him from using his supernatural powers to return to life.

Tales of primal shapeshifters permeate all societies where dangerous predators stalked the wild. These days, as people fear the wild less and Romantic notions of the idealised, pure wilderness abound, werewolves are most commonly seen not as demonic, savage despoilers but as conflicted figures trapped between two lives, possibly even heroes loyally protecting their ‘pack’ from the threats of a corrupt world. An appealing image for some. I’d keep some wolfsbane handy all the same…

Join us same time next week for the next Mythological Throwback Thursday! And if you want more wolf tales, why not download BADWOLF, only available for Beyond Books? In the post-apocalyptic future, the remnants of humanity live on a rustic pleasure server. But the viruses and worms of the world’s final war gnaw at the edges of their idyllic world, and the worst of all of them is the BADWOLF. Get your copy today!