Bats in Mythology
Bats in Mythology
The ideals found in mythology continue to bring animal attributes to humans. The ties from the two help us to
see how we are the same as many animals. In some instances though such as with the bat, the stories that are out
there circulating commonly worn us of why we shouldn’t behave like such an animal. This is why fears of the bat
continue to be explored today.
If you have an interest in mythology, one theme you will find has to do with bats. These creatures of the night
have continually been portrayed in such aspects of cultures. They are shown as symbols of death or trickery. They
are also used as symbols of the underworld where people live in shadows of darkness.
The Mayans talked about bats often in their stories, and they even had it coined as the guardian of the
underworld. Some of the findings from this early civilization include a human sized carving of a bat. There are
also many smaller sized carvings that have been located. It could be that the Mayans thought that by honoring the
dead they would be less likely to have to join them.
Many of the mythological stories include bats and humans being intertwined. Those stories of people turning into
bats are part of such mythology. Some of the drawings and carvings show a human face with bat wings and bat claws.
Many of these stories include how men can become greedy and the servants of the devil if they aren’t careful. Then
they are like the bat and that isn’t how a person should live their life.
The mythology of the Oaxacan gives us stories about how we shouldn’t be jealous of what other people have. They
believed that the bat was once very jealous of the pretty feathers that the birds had. Due to that jealousy it was
punished with dark coloring and a nocturnal lifestyle.
Other stories in this culture show the bat to once be a very conceited bird itself. Then it was punished and all
of those pretty features fell off. Out of shame and embarrassment the bat began moving about only at night, in the
shadows, so that it won’t be detected by other creatures.
The mythology of the East Nigerians is one that isn’t so personal in the way the story is told to help people do
better. Instead it is a story that is entertaining to say the least. The story is about the bat and a bush rat. The
bat tricks the bush rat into bathing in a pot of hot water so he can cook him. When he is to be arrested he flies
away and hides. Only at night when it is dark does he dare to venture out.
While mythology is certainly intriguing and exciting, it can also give people the wrong impression about certain
things. One of them is the bat because they are great creatures. They have the ability to help with pollination and
they are quite interesting both in design and movements. However, most people don’t give the bat the credit it
deserves due to what they have read through mythology.
Chinese mythology sheds a positive light on the bats. They viewed them as a symbol of good luck. Both the Apache
and Cherokee Indian tribes also enjoyed the bats and viewed their presence as a symbol that something good was
about to happen. The mystery of creation is often explored in such mythology, and the bat is certainly a creature
that is quite mysterious. It is unlike anything else due to the unique habits and physical appearance of it.