We All Have An Instinct for Dragons

An Instinct for Dragons by David E. Jones

An Instinct for Dragons by David E. Jones

Welcome to the Wednesday series on Fans of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

I’ll just come right out and say it! {I’m getting used to saying it!} I’m releasing my YA fantasy on February 28, 2011! Henrietta the Dragon Slayer!

Did you know that every culture on the planet has mythology around dragons? Every. Single. One.

When it comes to topics I love I dive into them with vigor and I notice with discerning and nerdy tastes.

An Instinct for Dragons by David Jones helped me understand the phenomenon of dragons, and why we are all so fascinated by them.

Many societies have a concept of and a word for the dragon, even though the creature never existed. Why? Jones, professor of anthropology at the University of Central Florida, thinks the concept derives from the experience of ancestral humans and prehumans with three kinds of predator: “Over millennia,” he writes, “the raptor, big cat, and serpent began to form as a single construct-the dragon–in the brain/mind of our ancient primate ancestors.” Jones got his idea from the behavior of vervet monkeys in Africa. They have three different alarm calls that provoke three different defensive responses: one for the leopard, one for the martial eagle and one for the python. Most of the 40 illustrations in the book portray dragons as different societies envisioned them. The common theme is that they look scary.

I don’t know if David Jones is right; of course, we’ll never know.

I only know that dragons grab me, and are a powerful metaphor for change, for facing our fears, addressing the elemental forces of the world.

Why do you like dragons?

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