An Instinct for Dragons

Front Cover
Psychology Press, 2002 - Philosophy - 188 pages
First published in 2002. The image of a dragon- magnificent, terrifying, voracious and powerful- is ingrained in our culture. But where di it originate? And how is that people from Africa to China to America picture it the same? An Instinct for Dragons is anthropologist David E. Jones' account of his search for the mysterious birth of this ubiquitous monster. Nit only does virtually every culture in the world have a name for dragons- smok in Polish, tatsu in Japanese, unktena in Cherokee- but dragons everywhere share many of the same characteristics: multiple heads, blazing eyes, earth-shaking roars, fiery breath, and the abduction of princesses. Spanning dragon lore from all paces and periods, Jones scrutinizes sightings and references from dragon inscriptions on cave walls, cliffs and pots to the Loch Ness monster to the Internet. Jones' research is erudite, and his conclusion is stunning; not only is our fear and fascination with dragons a direct result of the predators who threatened our evolution, but humankind is essentially 'hardwired' to believe in the dragon. This book will fascinate any reader interested in the cultural history of this most venerable of monsters.
 

Contents

Introduction
1
The Monkey Hunters
25
Running from Certain Shadows
39
Red Tooth Red Claw
47
How Time Makes a Dragon
55
Why Dragons Breathe Fire
73
Time of the Dragon Slayers
95
Fate of the Dragons
113
Tree of Life and the Three Sacred Realms
121
More Tales of the Great Worm
135
Bibliography
177
Index
185
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

David E. Jones is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Central Florida. He is the author of such engaging and well-received books as: Sanapia: Comanche Medicine Woman, Visions of Time, and Women Warriors. He lives in Orlando, Florida

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