Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Uncegila

This particular blog entry is a result of reading the Symbolic Meanings Blog "Symbolic Sevens entry (http://symbolic-meanings.com/2008/05/30/symbolic-seven-associations-with-the-number-seven/). In it A. Venefica challenges us to find other mythical and symbolic uses of the number seven. I found Uncegila. You can see a lovely rendition of this beast here.


What? You've never heard of Uncegila? Me neither until I started looking for sevens. You see, Uncegila is a terrible dragon from the Sioux Native American tribe, also known as the Lakota. We are perhaps a bit more familiar with some of their other stories involving the trickster spider known as Inktomi (yes, there is a web search engine named ofter this) and their white buffalo legend.


The story of Uncegila is a bit vague at times. It goes like this: Way back when the world was young, an evil witch was turned into the monster Uncegila. She is huge - as long as a hundred horses. Her snake like body is thicker than the biggest tree trunk and she is covered in glittering scales (actually mica). She has a curved horn coming out of her head. She was covered in spots and the only way to kill her was to shoot a magic arrow through the seven spot on her head. That is where she keeps her ice-cold crystal heart.


Heroes all tried to kill her, some to free the people of her wrath, but many to get her heart since it could grant you your heart desires.


Killing Uncegila, however, is not an easy task. Just looking at her will blind you. The next day you go insane. In four days you will die along with all the members of your family. She's got Medusa looking pretty good!

It so happened that two twin heroes came along to kill her. The youngest one was blind and did not fear the look of Uncegila. The older one agreed to take him to and from the place. In order to overcome his blindness, they went to an old ugly woman who could make arrows that always hit the target, no matter how bad your aim was. Her payment, one of them must sleep with her. The sighted brother could not bring himself to do this so he got his blind brother to do the deed. At least he was honest about it and told his blind brother what she looked like. But since this is mythology, she turns into a young beautiful woman. Seems she was cursed to live as a hag until a man came and made love to her.

Once they get to the place, they easily make short work of the dreaded monster - the blind twin shooting it and the other one cutting out the heart. The heart tells them a few things to do which they had been warned not to listen to and voila! They get their heart desires. The sun comes down and burns the body leaving the whole place a barren wasteland (the Badlands of Nebraska and the Dakotas) strewn with her bones. You can actually go there and see her bones today, although some so called "scientists" think they belong to dinosaurs. Ha!

The story doesn't end there. The twins are so tired of having everything they could desire, that they eventually destroy the heart and freed themselves of the curse of having what you want.

You can find this whole story at: http://pyramidmesa.netfirms.com/brulesioux18.html


Of course, Uncegila also has a comic book persona. Wolverine was the one who teamed up with a guy named Blind Owl. This was apparently early in his life and then later in Wolverine's very convoluted story lines was made into an alternate reality story.