Muyso Akyqake, The Chaos Monster Archetype Of Lake Tota

Jonah and the Whale by Peter Lastman (1621)Museum Kunstpalast  (Public Domain)

Muyso Akyqake, The Chaos Monster Archetype Of Lake Tota

The Biblical story of Jonah and the Whale uses shock and awe to install an ancient motif of mythology into the minds of children attending Sunday School. According to the Book of Jonah the Biblical prophet is attempting to avoid God's command when a storm hits his ship. The sailors throw Jonah overboard as a human sacrifice to save themselves. Jonah is then swallowed by a great fish from which he emerges triumphant. While this is an iconic Christian tale, similarly to Christmas and many other aspects of the new prevailing religion, the story of a person being consumed by a whale is structured on the older oral traditions and rituals of tribal shamans around the world.

Perseus Freeing Andromeda by Piero di Cosimo (1510) Uffizi Collection (Public Domain)

Overcoming Monsters In The Underworld

Ronald L. Boyer in his 2017 article The Sign of Jonah: Initiatory Symbolism in Biblical Mythopoetics, explains that in Greek myths “heroes like Heracles, Perseus, and Jason (of the Argonauts) are all devoured by sea-monsters of various kinds from whose bellies they later escape.” Death-rebirth imagery, motifs and archetypes, including swallowing by sea-monsters is replete in folklore and fairy tales. In one of the original versions of Little Red Riding Hood, known as The Grandmother and the Werewolf, both the heroine and the grandmother are devoured by a werewolf and later cut from its belly by woodcutter, miraculously restoring them to life.

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