Unwritten Mystery: The Curious Case Of the Ancient ‘Lord of the Animals’ Depictions

The physical description of the lord of the animals varies from culture to culture. He is generally portrayed in anthropomorphic and zoomorphic form or as a giant.

People of the olden days had distorted opinions about gods and religions, but their beliefs kept them going for thousands of years. I stumbled upon a deity known as the ‘Lord of the Animals’ a while back. The said deity was quite popular in the past.

Animal lord
Egyptianizing gold pendant showing the Lord of the Animals. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Multiple ancient societies and cultures had various gods that presided over different parts of their lives. The lord of the animals served as the ultimate protector of the animals and humans. Quite a lot of people of the olden days paid their respects to the said deity by submitting multiple peace offerings. According to various accounts and experts, the Lord of the Animals had power over forests, mountains, caves, etc. He lived in various jungles and guided many animals. He also took the lives of the animals and directed them in a specific direction.

The period I am referring to is known as the ‘stone age‘. The humans of that particular era were considered hunters. The lord of the animals was a popular figure in various hunting cultures. According to various ancient inscriptions, he provided the food to the starved individuals. Moreover, the said deity appeared in modified forms in many agrarian and pastoral societies. Some experts say that the idea of an animal lord or spirit can be traced even further back than the development of herding or hunting. We have no idea if the aforementioned claim is accurate or not.

For multiple cultures and societies, the forests, mountainous regions, and caves were the favoured residence of the animal lord. The animal lord was also associated with the sun, moon, and various constellations.

One of the theories includes the lord of the animals blending in with nature and giving birth to multiple animals. Moreover, the lord of the animals is also depicted as the helper of vulnerable humans. As per ancient accounts, he is the one who guides animals such as deer, goats, and rabbits to the hunters. Therefore, he feeds the bellies of the starved souls.

Various records or accounts claim that the animal lord punishes the ones who mercilessly kill the animals. He dislikes people who overkill or hunt animals for the sake of entertainment. It was prohibited to kill animals for fun in the olden days as people had insufficient food. Hence, they had a firm belief that the animal lord would punish malicious or vicious individuals. As per ancient records, he also asks the hunters to save the bones of the animals after hunting so he could resurrect them again.

The physical description of the lord of the animals varies from culture to culture. He is generally portrayed in anthropomorphic and zoomorphic form or as a giant. The lord of the animals appeared as a powerful male in most of the cultures. However, some cultures considered it a ‘female’. When imagined in zoomorphic form, the lord of the animals often combines various pieces or markings of different animals. 

All in all, the animal lord is an interesting piece of history. 

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