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Kites - Dragon

Large, serpentine, legendary creature found in the folklore of many cultures around the world
Dragons in the bow of a Russian Viking ship. Ystad 2019.

A Dragon is a large, serpentine, legendary creature found in the folklore of many cultures around the world. Beliefs about dragons vary widely by region, but dragons in Western cultures since the High Middle Ages have often been depicted as winged, horned, four-legged, and able to breathe fire. Dragons in Eastern cultures are usually depicted as wingless, four-legged, serpentine-shaped creatures with above-average intelligence.

The earliest recorded accounts of draconian creatures resemble giant snakes. Draconic creatures are first described in the mythologies of the ancient Middle East and appear in ancient Mesopotamian art and literature. Almost all Indo-European and Middle Eastern mythologies have stories of storm gods killing giant snakes. Famous prototypical draconian creatures are Mušḫuššu of ancient Mesopotamia; Apep in Egyptian mythology; Vṛtra im Rigveda ; the Leviathan in the Hebrew Bible; Grand'Goule in the Poitou region of France, Python, Ladon, Wyvern and the Lernaean Hydra in Greek mythology; Jörmungandr, Níðhöggr, and Fafnir in Norse mythology; and the dragon out Beowulf .

The popular Western image of a dragon is based on an amalgamation of earlier dragons from different traditions and inaccurate handwriting drawings of snakes. In Western cultures, dragons are depicted as monsters that must be tamed or conquered, usually by saints or cultural heroes, as in the popular legend of Saint George and the Dragon. They are often told that they are hungry and live in caves where they hoard treasure. These dragons appear frequently in western fantasy literature, including The hobbit by JRR Tolkien who Harry Potter- Series by JK Rowling and A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin.

The word "dragon" is also used in Chinese lung applied (traditional 龍, simplified 龙, Japanese simplified 竜, pinyin lóng ), which is associated with luck and presumably has power over rain. Dragons and their associations with rain are the source of Chinese dragon dance and dragon boat races. Many East Asian deities and demigods have dragons as personal mounts or companions. Dragons have also been identified with the Emperor of China, who during later Chinese imperial history was the only one allowed to have dragons on his home, clothing, or personal effects.

Commonalities between dragon traits are often a hybridization of bird, cat, and reptile traits and can include: snake-like traits, scaly reptilian skin, four legs with three or four toes each, spinal knots running down the back, a tail, and a jagged jaw with rows of teeth . Several modern scholars believe that giant extinct or migratory crocodiles bear the greatest resemblance, especially when found in wooded or swampy areas, and are most likely the template for modern dragon images.

etymology

The word Dragon entered the English language in the early 13th century from Old French Dragon which in turn comes from Latin: draconem (Nominative draco ) "Giant snake, dragon", meaning ancient Greek δράκων, draconian (Genitive δράκοντος, drákontos ) "Snake, giant sea fish". The Greek and Latin term referred to any large snake that was not necessarily mythological. The Greek word δράκων is most likely derived from the Greek verb δέρκομαι ( dérkomai ) in the sense of "I see", the aorist form the ἔδρακον ( édrakon ). It is believed that this was referring to something with a "fatal look" or unusually bright or "sharp" eyes.

Myth origins

Draconic creatures are found in almost every culture in the world. Still, scientists argue about where the idea of ​​a kite came from, and a variety of hypotheses have been proposed.

In his book To Instinct for Dragons (2000) the anthropologist David E. Jones proposes the hypothesis that humans like monkeys have inherited instinctive reactions to snakes, big cats, and birds of prey. Citing a study that found that around 39 out of a hundred people fear snakes, he notes that snakes fear is particularly pronounced in children, even in areas where snakes are rare. The earliest attested dragons all resemble snakes or have snake-like properties. Jones, therefore, concludes that dragons are found in almost all cultures because humans have an innate fear of snakes and other animals that were important predators of the ancestors of the primates of humans. Dragons are said to normally live in "damp caves, deep basins, wild mountain ranges, seabeds, haunted forests," all places that would have been dangerous to early human ancestors.

In her book The first fossil hunters: dinosaurs, mammoths and myths in Greek and Roman times (2000) Adrienne Mayor argues that some stories about dragons may have been inspired by ancient discoveries of fossils belonging to dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals. She argues that northern Indian dragon science may have been inspired by "observations of oversized, extraordinary bones in the fossil beds of the Siwalik Hills below the Himalayas" and that ancient Greek artistic depictions of the monster of Troy may have been influenced by fossils from Samotherium , an extinct species of giraffe whose fossils are common in the Mediterranean. In China, a region where fossils of large prehistoric animals are common, these remains are often referred to as "dragon bones" and are widely used in traditional Chinese medicine. However, the mayor carefully points out that not all stories about dragons and giants are fossil-inspired, noting that Scandinavia has many stories about dragons and sea monsters but has long been considered "sterile with large fossils". In one of her later books it says: "Many images of kites around the world were based on folk knowledge or exaggerations of living reptiles such as Komodo dragons, Gila monsters, iguanas, alligators or, in California, alligator lizards."

Robert Blust in The Origin Of Dragons (2000) argues that dragons, like many other creations of traditional cultures, are largely explainable as products of a convergence of rational pre-scientific speculations about the world of real events. In this case, the event is the natural mechanism that regulates rain and drought, with particular attention paid to the phenomenon of the rainbow.

Africa

Egypt

Illustration from an ancient Egyptian papyrus manuscript showing the god Set the serpent spearing apep as he attacks the sun boat of Ra

In Egyptian mythology, Apep is a giant serpentine creature that lives in the Duat, the Egyptian underworld. The Bremner-Rhind papyrus, which dates from around 310 BC. Written in BC, preserves an account of a much older Egyptian tradition that the sunset is caused by Ra going down to the Duat to fight Apep. In some accounts, Apep is as long as eight men with a flint head. It was believed that thunderstorms and earthquakes were caused by Apep's roar and that solar eclipses were the result of Apep's attack on Ra during the daytime. In some myths, Apep is killed by the god Set. Nehebkau is another giant snake that guards the duat and supports Ra in his fight against Apep. Nehebkau was so massive in some stories that it was believed that the entire earth rests on its coils. Denwen is a giant serpent mentioned in the Pyramid Texts, whose body was made of fire and which started a fire that destroyed almost all the gods of the Egyptian pantheon. He was eventually defeated by Pharaoh, a victory that confirmed the Pharaoh's divine right to rule.

The ouroboros was a well-known Egyptian symbol for a snake that swallowed its own tail. The forerunner of the Ouroboros was the "multi-faced" one, a snake with five heads, which, according to Amduat, the oldest surviving book of the afterlife, should protectively wrap around the corpse of the sun god Ra. The earliest surviving representation of a "true" Ouroboros comes from the gilded shrines in Tutankhamun's tomb. In the early centuries AD, the Ouroboros was adopted as a symbol by Gnostic Christians, and Chapter 136 of the Pistis Sophia , an early Gnostic text, describes "a great dragon with its tail in its mouth". In medieval alchemy, the ouroboros became a typical western dragon with wings, legs and a tail. A famous image of the dragon gnawing at its tail from the Codex Marcianus from the 11th century has been copied in numerous works on alchemy.

Asia

15th century Persian miniature of Rostam killing a dragon

east

China

Illustration of the dragon Zhulong from an edition of Shanhaijing from the 17th century

The archaeologist Zhōu Chong-Fa believes that the Chinese word for dragon is an onomatopoeia of thunder or Lùhng is in Cantonese.

The Chinese Dragon (Simplified Chinese: 龙; Traditional Chinese: 龍; Pinyin: lóng ) is the highest ranking creature in the Chinese animal hierarchy. Its origins are vague, but its "ancestors can be found on both Neolithic pottery and ritual vessels from the Bronze Age." A number of popular stories deal with raising dragons. The Zuo Zhuan probably written during the Warring States Period, describes a man named Dongfu, a descendant of Yangshu'an, who loved dragons and, because he could understand a dragon's will, could tame and raise them well. He served Emperor Shun, who gave him the family name Huanlong, which means "dragon breeder". In another story, Kongjia, the fourteenth emperor of the Xia Dynasty, received male and female dragons as rewards for his obedience to the god of heaven, but was unable to train them. So he hired a kite trainer named Liulei. who had learned how to train kites from Huanlong. One day the dragoness died unexpectedly, so Liulei secretly chopped her up, cooked her meat, and served it to the king, who loved it so much that he asked Liulei to serve him the same food again. Since Liulei had no way of getting more dragon meat, he fled the palace.

One of the most famous dragon stories is about Lord Ye Gao, who loved dragons obsessively even though he had never seen one. He decorated his whole house with dragon motifs and when he saw this admiration, a real dragon came and visited Ye Gao, but the lord was so terrified at the sight of the creature that he ran away. According to Chinese legend, the cultural hero Fu Hsi is said to have crossed the Lo River when he Lung ma saw a Chinese horse kite with seven points on its face, six on its back, eight on its left flank, and nine on its right flank. He was so moved by this apparition that when he got home he drew a picture of it, including the dots. He later used these dots as letters and invented the Chinese script with which he wrote his book I Ching wrote . In another Chinese legend, the doctor Ma Shih Huang is said to have healed a sick dragon. Another legend tells that a man once came to the healer Lo Chên-jen and told him that he was a dragon and needed to be healed. After Lo Chên-jen had healed the man, a dragon appeared to him and carried him to heaven.

in the Shanhaijing , a classical mythography that was probably composed mainly during the Han Dynasty, various deities and demigods are associated with dragons. One of the most famous Chinese dragons is Ying Long ("reactive dragon"), who helped Huangdi, the Yellow Emperor, defeat the tyrant Chiyou. The dragon Zhulong ("Torch Dragon") is a god "who composed the universe with his body". in the Shanhaijing supposed to be many mythical heroes have been conceived after their mothers copulated with divine dragons, including Huangdi, Shennong, Emperor Yao, and Emperor Shun. The god Zhurong and the emperor Qi are both carried by two dragons, as are Huangdi, Zhuanxu, Yuqiang and Roshou in various other texts. According to the Huainanzi caused an evil black dragon once a destructive flood, which was ended by the mother goddess Nuwa by killing the dragon.

Casting for a Chinese belt plate with the Pulmonary or "dragon horse" from the first or second century AD

A large number of ethnic myths about dragons are told across China. The Houhanshu who lived in the fifth century BC. Compiled by Fan Ye, tells the story of the Ailaoyi people, according to which a woman named Shayi, who lived in the area around Mount Lao, became pregnant with ten sons after being touched by a log floating in the water while fishing. She gave birth to the sons and the tree trunk turned into a dragon that asked about its sons. The woman showed it to him, but everyone ran away, except for the youngest, whom the dragon licked on the back and called Jiu Long, which means "lean back". The sons later elected him king and the descendants of the ten sons became the Ailaoyi, who tattooed dragons on their backs in honor of their ancestors. The Miao of southwest China have a story that a divine dragon created the first humans by breathing on monkeys that played in its cave. The Han have many stories of Short-Tailed Old Li, a black dragon who was born into a poor family in Shandong. The first time his mother saw him she passed out, and when his father came home from the field and saw him, he hit him with a spade and cut off part of his tail. Li stormed through the ceiling and flew to the Black Dragon River in northeast China, where he became the god of that river. On the anniversary of his mother's death on the Chinese lunar calendar, Old Li returns home and makes it rain. He is still worshiped as the rain god.

Diagram showing the four dragon kings of the four seas in relation to the central dragon king of the earth

In China, kites are closely related to rain, and drought is believed to be caused by a kite's laziness. Prayers invoking dragons to bring rain are common in Chinese texts. The lush dew of the spring and autumn annals Attributed to Han Dynasty scholar Dong Zhongshu, mandates that clay figurines be made from dragons during a drought and that young men and boys walk up and down between the figurines to encourage the dragons to bring rain. Qing Dynasty texts advise throwing a tiger's bones or dirty objects into the pool where the dragon lives. Since dragons can't stand tigers or dirt, the pool's dragon will cause heavy rain to drive the object away. Rain rituals invoking dragons are still widespread in many Chinese villages. Each village has its own god who is said to bring rain, and many of these gods are dragons. Although the tales of the Dragon Kings are among the most popular dragon tales in China today, these tales did not emerge until the Eastern Han when Buddhist stories about the serpent rain god Nāga became popular. Taoists began to invent their own dragon kings, and eventually such stories developed in every major Chinese religion. According to these stories, each body of water is ruled by a Dragon King, each with a different power, rank, and ability. Therefore, people began to build temples in the country dedicated to these figures.

Head of a dragon from a Chinese dragon dance performed in Helsinki in 2000.

Many traditional Chinese customs revolve around dragons. During various holidays, including the Spring Festival and the Lantern Festival, the villagers will use grass, cloth, strips of bamboo and paper to build a kite about three meters long, which they will lead around town in a kite dance. The original purpose of this ritual was to bring good weather and a strong harvest, but now it is mostly done for entertainment purposes only. During the Duanwu Festival, several villages or even an entire province host a dragon boat race, in which people run across a body of water in boats that look like dragons while a large audience watches on the banks. The custom is traditionally believed to have originated after the poet Qu Yuan committed suicide by drowning himself in the Miluo River and people resting in boats to rescue him, but most historians agree that the custom is actually much earlier than ritual Wealth was created to avert disease. Beginning during the Han Dynasty and through to the Qing Dynasty, the Chinese emperor gradually became closely identified with dragons, and the emperors themselves claimed to be the incarnations of a divine dragon. After all, dragons were only allowed to appear on the emperor's clothes, houses and everyday objects, and any citizen who owned everyday objects with the image of the dragon was executed. After the overthrow of the last Chinese emperor in 1911, this situation changed and now many ordinary Chinese identify themselves as descendants of dragons.

Korea

The Korean dragon is similar in many ways to other East Asian dragons such as the Chinese and Japanese dragons. It differs from the Chinese dragon in that it developed a longer beard. Very occasionally, a dragon can be depicted as having a ball called Yeouiju (여의주), the Korean name for the mythical Cintamani, in its claws or in its mouth. It was said that anyone who could wield the yeouiju was blessed with the abilities of omnipotence and creation at will, and that only four-toed dragons (the thumbs with which they could hold the orbs) were both wise and powerful enough were to use these bullets. in contrast to the smaller three-toed kites. As in China, the number nine is significant and promising in Korea, and dragons are said to have 81 (9 × 9) scales on their backs that represent the Yang essence. Dragons in Korean mythology are primarily benevolent beings involved in water and agriculture and are often viewed as bringing rain and clouds. Therefore, many Korean dragons are said to have lived in rivers, lakes, oceans or even deep mountain ponds. And human journeys to underwater realms and especially to the Underwater Palace of the Dragon King (용왕) are common in Korean folklore.

In Korean myths, some kings who founded kingdoms were described as descendants of dragons because the dragon was a symbol of the monarch. Lady Aryeong, the first Queen of Silla, is said to have been born of a nymph, while the grandmother of Taejo of Goryeo, founder of Goryeo, was allegedly the daughter of the Dragon King of the West Seas. And King Munmu of Silla, who wanted to become a dragon of the Baltic Sea on his deathbed in order to protect the kingdom. Dragon patterns were used exclusively by the royal family. The royal robe was also known as the dragon robe (용포). In the Joseon Dynasty, royal insignia was attached to the shoulders, chest, and back of the robe with embroidered dragons. The king wore dragon badges with five claws, while the crown prince wore dragon badges with four claws.

Korean folk mythology holds that most dragons were originally imugis (이무기) or smaller dragons believed to resemble gigantic snakes. There are several different versions of Korean folklore that describe what Imugis are and how they want to become full-fledged dragons. Koreans thought that an Imugi could become a true dragon, Yong or Mireu if he caught a yeouiju that fell from the sky. Another explanation is that they are hornless creatures that resemble dragons that have been cursed and therefore could not become dragons. From other accounts, an Imugi is one Proto-dragons who have favourited 1000 years to survive to become a full-fledged dragon. In any case, that they are big, kind, it is said that python -like creatures that live in water or caves, and their observation is associated with good luck.

Japan

Painting of a Japanese Dragon by Hokusai (around 1730-1849)

Japanese dragon myths fuse local legends with imported dragon stories from China. Like these other Asian dragons, most Japanese water deities are associated with rainfall and bodies of water, and are typically depicted as large, wingless, serpentine creatures with clawed feet. Gould writes (1896: 248) that the Japanese dragon is "invariably studded with three claws". A story about that samurai Minamoto no Mitsunaka relates that while he was hunting in his own area of ​​Settsu, he fell asleep under a tree and had a dream in which a beautiful woman appeared to him and asked him to save her land from a giant snake that polluted it. Mitsunaka agreed to help and the girl gave him a magnificent horse. When he woke up, the horse was standing in front of him. He took it to the Sumiyoshi Temple, where he prayed for eight days. Then he confronted the snake and hit it with an arrow.

It was believed that dragons could be appeased or exorcised with metal. Nitta Yoshisada is said to have thrown a famous sword into the sea in Sagami to appease the dragon god of the sea, and Ki no Tsurayuki threw a metal mirror into the sea in Sumiyoshi for the same purpose. Japanese Buddhism also adapted dragons by subjecting them to Buddhist law. The Japanese Buddhist deities Benten and Kwannon often sit or stand on the back of a dragon. Several Japanese Sennin ("Immortals") took dragons as mounts. Bômô is said to have hurled his staff into a puddle of water, whereby a dragon came out and let him ride into the sky. The Rakan Handaka is said to have been able to conjure up a dragon from a bowl, which he often uses Kagamibuta is playing . The Shachihoko is a creature with a dragon head, bushy tail, fish-like scales, and sometimes fire that leaks from its armpits. The Shifun has the head of a dragon, feathered wings, and the tail and claws of a bird. It was believed that a white dragon lived in a pond in Yamashiro Province and transformed every fifty years into a bird named Ogonchô, which had a reputation like "the howl of a wild dog". It was believed that this event heralded a terrible famine. In the Japanese village of Okumura near Edo, villagers made a dragon image from straw, magnolia leaves and bamboo during times of drought and carried it through the village to attract rain.

South east

The Vietnamese dragon (Vietnamese: rồng 龍) was a mythical creature that was often used as a symbol for deities and associated with kings. Similar to other cultures, dragons in Vietnamese culture represent yang and divine connection with creation and life.

west

Ancient

Mesopotamia

Ancient peoples in the Middle East believed in creatures resembling today's "dragons". These ancient peoples were unaware of the existence of dinosaurs or similar creatures in the distant past. References to dragons of both benevolent and malevolent characters can be found throughout ancient Mesopotamian literature. In Sumerian poetry, great kings are often referred to as the Ušumgal compared to a gigantic serpentine monster. A draconian creature with the fore-parts of a lion and the hind legs, tail, and wings of a bird appears in Mesopotamian artworks from the Akkadian period (about 2334-2154 BC) to the Neo-Babylonian period (626 BC). - 539 BC)). The dragon is usually shown with his mouth open. It could be as (ūmu) nā'iru may have been known what "roaring Weather animal "means, and could have been associated with the god Ishkur (Hadad). A somewhat different lion dragon with two horns and the tail of a scorpion appears in art from the Neo-Assyrian period (911 BC - 609 BC. A relief, probably commissioned by Sennacherib, shows the gods Ashur, Sin and Adad standing on their backs.

Another draconian creature with horns, the body and neck of a snake, the forelegs of a lion, and the hind legs of a bird appears in Mesopotamian art from the Akkadian period to the Hellenistic period (323 BC - 31 BC) . This creature, in Akkadian as mušḫuššu known , meaning "angry serpent", has been used as a symbol for certain deities and also as a general protective emblem. It seems to have originally been the servant of the underworld god Ninazu, but later became the companion to the Hurrian storm god Tišpak and later Ninazu's son Ningišzida, the Babylonian national god Marduk, the scribal god Nabu and the Assyrian national god Ashur.

Scholars disagree on the appearance of Tiamat, the Babylonian goddess, that of Marduk in the Babylonian epic of creation Enûma Eliš embodied slain primeval chaos. It has traditionally been viewed by scholars as the shape of a giant serpent, but several scholars have suggested that this shape "cannot be attributed with certainty to Tiamat," and it appears to have been viewed, at least at times, as anthropomorphic. However, in some texts it seems to be described as having horns, a tail and a skin that no weapon can penetrate. All of these features suggest that she was conceived as a kind of dragoness.

Levant

In the Ugaritic Baal cycle, the sea dragon Lōtanu is described as "the spinning serpent / the mighty one with seven heads". In KTU 1.5 I 2–3 Lōtanu is killed by the storm god Baal, in KTU 1.3 III 41–42 he is instead killed by the virgin warrior goddess Anat. In the Book of Psalms, Psalm 74, Psalm 74: 13-14, the sea dragon is Leviathan, whose name begins with Lōtanu is related to Yahweh, the national god of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, killed as part of the kingdom's creation of the world. Isaiah 27: 1 foretells the destruction of Leviathan by Yahweh as part of Yahweh's impending overhaul of the universal order:

Original Hebrew text English translation

א בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא יִפְקֹד יְהוָה בְּחַרְבּוֹ הַקָּשָׁה וְהַגְּדוֹלָה וְהַחֲזָקָה, עַל לִוְיָתָן נָחָשׁ
וְעַל, וְעַל לִוְיָתָן, נָחָשׁ עֲקַלָּתוֹן; וְהָרַג אֶת-הַתַּנִּין, אֲשֶׁר בַּיָּם. {ס}

That day will be Yahweh
punish with his sharp, large and strong sword:
Leviathan, the fleeing serpent; Leviathan, the spinning serpent;
He will kill the dragon that is in the sea.

Job 41: 1–34 contains a detailed description of Leviathan, who is described as so powerful that only Yahweh can overcome it. Job 41: 19-21 states that the Leviathan exhales fire and smoke, which makes it clear that it is identified as a mythical dragon. In some parts of the Old Testament, the Leviathan is historicized as a symbol for the nations that stand against Yahweh. Rahab, a synonym for "Leviathan", is used in several scriptures relating to Egypt. Isaiah 30: 7 explains: "For Egypt's help is worthless and empty, therefore I have called it 'the silenced Rahab'." Similarly, Psalm 87: 3 reads, “I regard Rahab and Babylon as those who know me ...” At Ezekiel 29: 3–5 and Ezekiel 32: 2–8, Pharaoh of Egypt is described as a “dragon” ( tannîn ). In the story of Bel and the dragon from the apocryphal additions to Daniel, the prophet Daniel sees a dragon worshiped by the Babylonians. Daniel makes "cake out of pitch, fat and hair"; The dragon eats them and bursts open.

Post-classic

In Sufi literature, Rumi writes in his Masnavi, that the dragon symbolizes the sensual soul, greed and lust that must be humiliated in a spiritual battle.

Attributed to Rustam Killing the Dragon, folio from Shahnameh by Shah Ismail II. Sadegi (Beg), Iran, Tabriz, c. 1576 AD, View 1 - Aga Khan Museum - Toronto, Canada

In Ferdowsis Shahnameh has to the Iranian hero Rostam with the help of his legendary horse Rakhsh kill an 80 meter long dragon (which makes itself invisible to humans). While Rostam sleeps, the dragon approaches; Rakhsh tries to wake Rostam but does not alert him of the danger until Rostam sees the dragon. Rakhsh bites the dragon while Rostam decapitates him. This is the third attempt in Rostam's seven works.

Rostam is also slaughtering other dragons in the Shahnameh and ascribed in other Iranian oral traditions, particularly in the myth of Babr-e-Bayan . In this story, Rostam is still a youth and kills a dragon in the "Orient" (either India or China, depending on the source) by forcing him to swallow either ox skins filled with quicklime and stones or poisoned blades. The dragon swallows these foreign bodies and his stomach bursts, whereupon Rostam skins the dragon and creates a cloak from his skin, which Called Babr-e Bayān . In some variants of the story, Rostam remains unconscious for two days and nights, but is guarded by his steed Rakhsh. When resuscitated, he washes himself in a feather. In the Mandean tradition of history, Rostam hides in a box, is swallowed by the dragon and kills him out of his stomach. The king of China then gives Rostam his daughter in marriage as a reward.

south

in the Rigveda , the oldest of the four Vedas, Indra, the Vedic god of storms, battles Vrtra, a giant serpent representing drought. Indra kills Vṛtra with his Vajra (Lightning) and clears the way for rain, which is described in the form of cattle: "You have won the cows, hero, you have won the soma, / You have set the seven rivers free to flow" ( Rigveda 1.32 .12). In another Rigvedic legend, the three-headed serpent Viśvarūpa, the son of Tvaṣṭṛ, guards an abundance of cows and horses. Indra delivers Viśvarūpa to a god named Trita Āptya, who fights and kills him and frees his cattle. Indra cuts off the heads of Viśvarūpa and drives the cattle to Trita. The same story is alluded to in the younger Avesta, in which the hero Thraētaona, the son of Āthbya, kills the three-headed dragon Aži Dahāka and takes his two beautiful wives as prey. Thraētaona's name (meaning "third grandson of water") suggests that Aži Dahāka, like Vṛtra, was viewed as a water blocker and a cause of drought.

The Druk (Dzongkha: འབྲུག་), also known as the "thunder dragon", is one of the national symbols of Bhutan. In the Dzongkha language, Bhutan is as Druk Yul Known as "Land of the Druk" and the leaders of Bhutan are called Druk Gyalpo, "Thunder Dragon Kings". The Druk was adopted as an emblem by the Drukpa line, which originated in Tibet and later spread to Bhutan.

Europe

Proto-Indo-Europeans

The story of a hero who kills a giant snake appears in almost every Indo-European mythology. In most of the stories, the hero is a kind of thunder god