A Wazimamoto

May 28, 2009 at 1:23 am (Interesting Vampires, Vampires around the World) (, , )

Recently I read YELLOW MOON by Jewell Parker Rhodes. This story takes place in New Orleans and has a very unique form of vampire. This spirit rises from the ocean, drawn by the sounds of music, it latches on to a person and drains them of blood. With each new victim it becomes more substantial and recovers more of its memory.

The novel’s heroine is Dr. Marie Laveau, a descendant of New Orleans’ great voodoo Queen Marie Laveau. She herself is a fledgling Voodoo priestess, still learning about her own powers. Powers which are pitted against this creature who is leaving an ever increasing trail of bodies and ghosts across New Orleans. In the music rich atmosphere of New Orleans, where sin and corruption fester, the creature finds a perfect home.

During Marie and Detective Daniel Park’s hunt for this creature, they met with a professor who finally names the creature. It is an African vampire, that comes of the times of Colonialism, a wazimamoto.

In an interview at http://hermitosis.blogspot.com, Jewell Parker Rhodes explains “Stoker’s Dracula seeks immortality; the wazimamoto, a vampire created from colonial oppression in Africa, seeks to destroy cultural traditions. For Africans, the British, French and Portuguese tried to steal “cultural blood.” So, Africans created oral tales of a vampire that drains blood. In America, we can talk about the slave traders as wazimamotos and folks who are mentally enslaved, who learn from the oppressors to hate their selves and their culture, can become wazimamotos, too.”

I assumed at first that the wazimamoto was a creation of the author, but I found there are some historical references. Author Luise White recorded the oral traditions which talk about the wazimamoto, in Speaking with Vampires, Rumor and History in Colonial Africa. Jewell Parker Rhodes has definitely remodeled it to suit her needs, linking it to the spirit of John, an enemy destroyed by the original Marie Laveau.

I found it most interesting how Marie Laveau kills it. She uses Voodoo, destroying the gris-gris bag that is linked to the original soul. She also uses the power of musicians and their music, not only to call the creature, but to overwhelm it. And finally as a medical doctor, she uses science. Because it came from the sea, it is partially made up of physical matter, a bacteria which she discovers is destroyed by penicillin. So she sprays it with penicillin and it dissolves. Another vampire bites the dust

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El Chupacabra

May 14, 2009 at 1:49 am (Interesting Vampires) ()

In doing research for vampire literature, I came across a truly modern vampire. Have you ever heard of El Chupacabra?

Sightings of this creature start in 1990 in Puerto Rico, when 8 sheep were found dead, drained of blood, puncture wounds in chest. A few months later, an eyewitness reported seeing a creature in the Puerto Rican town of Canóvanas. The word Chupacabra comes from the Spanish, chupar “to suck” and cabra “goat”, “goat sucker” for its habit of attacking and drinking the blood of livestock. Since then there have been reports of sightings around the world.

The Chupacabra has been described like a mostly hairless and with a pronounced spinal ridge, unusually eye sockets, fangs, and claws. What was thought to be a Chupacabras in Texas turned out to be a coyote with mange.

Another description of Chupacabra is a reptile-like being, appearing to have leathery or scaly greenish-gray skin and sharp spines or quills running down its back, a dog shaped snout, forked tongue, and large fangs, standing 3 to 4 feet high.

Sightings have continued, but nothing definitive. Scientist consider El Chupacabra a modern legend. But it is the media who have made the most of it. It was supposedly the Puerto Rican comedian and entrepreneur Silverio Pérez who gave El Chupacabra his name shortly after the first press release.

The Chupacabra has been featured in films and on TV, such as Scooby-Doo and the Monster of Mexico; Chupacabra: Dark Seas, starring John Rhys-Davies; Guns of El Chupacabra, starring Scott Shaw. An entire episode of The X-Files series, “El Mundo Gira”, was devoted to the Chupacabra. In July 2008, History’s channel’s Monster Quest featured the Texas carcasses, which were determined to be dogs and coyotes.

A quick search of Amazon.com, turned up the following fiction and nonfiction books:

Chupacabras: And Other Mysteries by Scott Corrales (Paperback – Oct 1997)
Chupacabra by Robert Heinsohn (Paperback – Nov 28, 2006)
The Chupacabras (Monsters) by Terry O’Neill (Hardcover – Dec 7, 2007)
Cryptozoology A To Z: The Encyclopedia of Loch Monsters, Sasquatch, Chupacabras, and Other Authentic Mysteries of Nature by Loren Coleman and Jerome Clark (Paperback – Aug 5, 1999)
Everything the Government Wants You to Know About CHUPACABRA: From the Secret Files by Manwolf Sullivan (Paperback – Jan 14, 2009)
Curse of the ChupaCabra by Rudolfo Anaya (Hardcover – Oct 31, 2006)
ChupaCabra and the Roswell UFO by Rudolfo Anaya (Hardcover – Oct 16, 2008)
The Fairy and the Chupacabra and Those Marfa Lights (Fairy and the Chupacabra)
(Libro Uno of the Fairy and the Chupacabra) by Sidney Spires and James A. Mangum (Hardcover – April 30, 2008)
Bigfoot Vs. Chupacabras by Scott Mercer (Kindle Edition – Oct 1, 2007)
Night of the Chupacabra (An Avon Camelot Book) by Marie G. Lee (Paperback – Sep 7,1999)
El Chupacabras: Trail of the Goatsucker by Lloyd S. Wagner (Paperback – Oct 14, 2004)
Juan and the Chupacabras/ Juan y el Chupacabras by Xavier Garza, April Ward, and Carolina Villarroel (Hardcover – Oct 31, 2006)
Chupacabras: The Devil’s Genetics by James Lloyd (Paperback – 2001)
El Enigma de el Chupacabras by Ramiro Abaunza Salinas (Paperback – 1996)
El Chupacabra by Cass Andre (Paperback – Jun 2, 2003)
The Chupacabras diaries: An unofficial chronicle of Puerto Rico’s paranormal predator by Scott Corrales (Unknown Binding – 1996)
Chupacabras by Terry O’Neill (Hardcover – Jan 1, 2008)
The Island of Paradise – chupacabra, UFO crash retrievals, and accelerated evolution on the island of Puerto Rico by Jonathan Downes, Paul Rose, and Nicholas Redfern (Paperback – Jun 14, 2008)
Highway to Hell (Maggie Quinn: Girl Vs Evil) by Rosemary Clement-Moore (Hardcover – Mar 10, 2009)
Blood Engines (Marla Mason, Book 1) by T.A. Pratt (Mass Market Paperback – Sep 25, 2007)

El Chupacabras shows once again the power of a good name to spread, like Dracula. Even Scooby Doo has met the Chupacabras. I wonder if I have that in my collection of Scooby Doo movies. If so I’ll have to watch it.

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