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Have you ever heard the saying 'Man in the Moon'? .There are many myths that cinclude men and the moon. Wikipedia has an interesting section on these origin stories. For instance, the European version is that man was banished there because of a crime. Christian lore commonly held that he is the man caught gathering sticks on the sabbath and sentenced by God to death by stoning in the book of Numbers XV.32-36. Some Germanic cultures thought he was a man caught stealing from a neighbor's hedgerow to repair his own. There is a Roman legend that he is a sheep-thief. So first and foremost it was thought to relate to the crime of stealing and banishment as a form of punishment. Then there is the medieval Christian tradition that suggests that the man in the moon is Cain, also called the Wanderer, forever doomed to circle the Earth. as noted in Wikipedia, 'Dante's Inferno alludes to this:"For now doth Cain with fork of thorns confine. On either hemisphere, touching the wave. Beneath the towers of Seville. Yesternight. The moon was round.". This is mentioned again in his Paradise. :But tell, I pray thee, whence the gloomy spots - Upon this body, which below on earth - Give rise to talk of Cain in fabling quaint?”
There is also a Talmudic tradition that the image of Jacob is engraved on the moon, although no such mention is found in the Torah..In Norse mythology, Máni is the male personification of the moon who crosses the sky in a horse and carriage. He is continually pursued by the Great Wolf Hati who catches him at Ragnarok. The name Máni simply means "Moon". And in Chinese mythology, the goddess Chang'e is stranded upon the moon after foolishly consuming a double dose of an immortality potion. She is accompanied by a small group of moon rabbits. This image seeks to demonstrate this myth in another format.
In Haida mythology, the figure represents a boy gathering wood, who was taken up from the earth as a punishment for disrespect.
January 10th, 2013
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