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Flibbertigibbet

Dogheads (Cynocephali)

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Flibbertigibbet

Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Medieval Europeans and Chinese, to name just a few, all had legends and stories of races of humans with the heads of dogs, the dogheads (cynocephali). These always lived slightly further away than it was praticable to travel, just beyond the fringes of the civilised world. Why were these stories so consistent across Europe and Asia? Not to be confused with werewovles, who were shapeshifters, dogheads were exactly what their name suggests. They wore clothes, had their own settlements and villages, and their own society. Sometimes they even came to live in the civilised world. There are legends that St Christopher was one of them, as some Byzantine icons show him.

Saint_christopher_cynocephalus.gif

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cynocephaly

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Leonardo

Some of the legend surrounding cynocephali could be based on misreported, exaggerated and/or poorly described, instances of microcephaly and/or hypertrichosis. Even conditions such as maxilliary or mandibular prognathism could contribute to reports of "dog-headed people" if those reports were sufficiently distorted through multiple re-tellings.

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Flibbertigibbet

Some of the legend surrounding cynocephali could be based on misreported, exaggerated and/or poorly described, instances of microcephaly and/or hypertrichosis. Even conditions such as maxilliary or mandibular prognathism could contribute to reports of "dog-headed people" if those reports were sufficiently distorted through multiple re-tellings.

It seems to be something more than that though. These dogheads lived in their own societies.

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George Ford

It could be a case of misleading language interpretation. Dog headed could mean that they were uncivilized people that appeared to live and think like dogs. They may have been bands of people that lived in the wilds with their own language and fought each other to establish a pecking order. They may also have had few taboos and so had sex where ever and when ever they liked. They would never have been taught things like cooking and cloth making so ate food raw, drank from rivers and rain puddles and did not wear clothes. If they kept a few dogs for security and hunting and lived with the dogs like family members then that would add to the myth. Even in these times there are a remote tribes that have strange rituals and ways of living that may seem very odd to us. As for the sex thing, I've seen couples having sex in busy nightclubs, benches in the middle of the street in city centers late on weekend nights and the beach etc.

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Flibbertigibbet

It could be a case of misleading language interpretation. Dog headed could mean that they were uncivilized people that appeared to live and think like dogs. They may have been bands of people that lived in the wilds with their own language and fought each other to establish a pecking order. They may also have had few taboos and so had sex where ever and when ever they liked. They would never have been taught things like cooking and cloth making so ate food raw, drank from rivers and rain puddles and did not wear clothes. If they kept a few dogs for security and hunting and lived with the dogs like family members then that would add to the myth. Even in these times there are a remote tribes that have strange rituals and ways of living that may seem very odd to us. As for the sex thing, I've seen couples having sex in busy nightclubs, benches in the middle of the street in city centers late on weekend nights and the beach etc.

Could well be, yes.

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Leonardo

It seems to be something more than that though. These dogheads lived in their own societies.

And many people who are marginalised by society today live in their "own societies". This is not uncommon but simply reflects the prejudice we hold against those who are different.

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Flibbertigibbet

And many people who are marginalised by society today live in their "own societies". This is not uncommon but simply reflects the prejudice we hold against those who are different.

The dogheads seem to be thought of as a different race of humans. There were debates about whether they were human at all, and had souls, but the consensus seems to be that they were.

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Goodnite

Misidentification of common animals of the Mid-East and Africa may have also grown the rumor of tribes of dog-headed men.

The tribe probably originated in ancient travellers' accounts of the African baboon which were mistaken for men. Indeed, the name Kynokephalos was later used by the Greeks for this animal.

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Flibbertigibbet

Misidentification of common animals of the Mid-East and Africa may have also grown the rumor of tribes of dog-headed men.

The tribe probably originated in ancient travellers' accounts of the African baboon which were mistaken for men. Indeed, the name Kynokephalos was later used by the Greeks for this animal.

Some of them were apparently in Scandinavia too.

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NatureBoff

The dogheads seem to be thought of as a different race of humans. There were debates about whether they were human at all, and had souls, but the consensus seems to be that they were.

This view is from the religious wise men of the time. A modern atheist/humanist is more likely to conclude that the 'dogheaded' men are a clever species of animal able to remain undetected by man. They presumably are highly skilled at remaining hidden in their secret lives and are mostly active at night.

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Flibbertigibbet

This view is from the religious wise men of the time. A modern atheist/humanist is more likely to conclude that the 'dogheaded' men are a clever species of animal able to remain undetected by man. They presumably are highly skilled at remaining hidden in their secret lives and are mostly active at night.

The modern atheist/humanist view would presumably draw no distinction between humans and animals either, seeing it as perfectly possible for a non-human animal species to develop human-like intelligence.

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Farmerboy

This view is from the religious wise men of the time. A modern atheist/humanist is more likely to conclude that the 'dogheaded' men are a clever species of animal able to remain undetected by man. They presumably are highly skilled at remaining hidden in their secret lives and are mostly active at night.

Something tells me that you are going to bring hyraxes into this..... :blink:

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PersonFromPorlock

Don't overlook the possibility that there was some tribe called, in one language, something which in another language meant 'dog-headed' and the name took on a life of its own. Stuff like that happens.

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George Ford

Don't overlook the possibility that there was some tribe called, in one language, something which in another language meant 'dog-headed' and the name took on a life of its own. Stuff like that happens.

Yeah, king of like what happened to Mongoloids.

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DieChecker

Since the same societies reported cyclops populations and populations of people with their faces in their chest, I'm very skeptical.

I read that Christopher Columbus, when he first tried speaking with the natives he encountered was told by translators (Where they came from I'm not sure.) that dog headed people lived on some of the other islands and ate people. They were the Canibis. What I find interesting is that these Caribean peoples did not have dogs, so had no idea what one looked like.

http://www.ancientworlds.net/aw/Article/726763

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vitruvian12

This view is from the religious wise men of the time. A modern atheist/humanist is more likely to conclude that the 'dogheaded' men are a clever species of animal able to remain undetected by man. They presumably are highly skilled at remaining hidden in their secret lives and are mostly active at night.

you used "modern" here but Im sure you meant to use delusional

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orangepeaceful79

In 500 years, there will likely be people gullible and impressionable enough to believe that certain elements of our pop culture like zombies and beautiful were-wolf fighting vampires were real. I think this is nothing more than that. A few stories that have may or even may not have had roots in some natural phenomenon or animal that have been embellished over the course of many retellings and now adopted by the cryptid community.

I think its reasonable to assume that back in the day there were just as many people who were *Snip* as there are now, and that they loved to tell a good tale around the campfire or dinner table.

There were never people with dog-heads. Just fun stories. Fairy tales.

Edited by Karlis
UM FORUM RULES: 3c. Profanity: Do not use profanity, crude, vulgar language or attempt to intentionally bypass the profanity filter.

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Imaginarynumber1

Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Medieval Europeans and Chinese, to name just a few, all had legends and stories of races of humans with the heads of dogs, the dogheads (cynocephali). These always lived slightly further away than it was praticable to travel, just beyond the fringes of the civilised world. Why were these stories so consistent across Europe and Asia? Not to be confused with werewovles, who were shapeshifters, dogheads were exactly what their name suggests. They wore clothes, had their own settlements and villages, and their own society. Sometimes they even came to live in the civilised world. There are legends that St Christopher was one of them, as some Byzantine icons show him.

Saint_christopher_cynocephalus.gif

http://en.wikipedia....iki/Cynocephaly

I see no reason to believe this as anything but myth.

Unless, of course, they were super evolved intelligent were-hyrax-men.

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NatureBoff

I see no reason to believe this as anything but myth.

Unless, of course, they were super evolved intelligent were-hyrax-men.

lol! (and 'women' of course)

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Imaginarynumber1

lol! (and 'women' of course)

Right? We don't want to leave out the ladies! ;)

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sickpuppy

we see a lot of this in egyptian murals etc, i don't think it's something meant to be interpreted as literal.

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