April 1, 2019

I is for Isnashi

        My theme for this year’s April A-Z Blog Challenge is fantastical creatures, celebrating my upcoming book, On the Virtues of Beasts of the Realms of Imagination, which will be released by the end of the year.  You'll find all kinds of details about it at my Kickstarter Campaign for the project.

        “The isnashi is a large beast covered in long, coarse hair so rank in odor that strong hunters have become dizzy and lost consciousness at the stench of it.  Its claws turn backwards on its feet, and it has only one eye, but it has a second mouth, in the center of its chest, from which it roars mightily.  It dwells deep in the thick jungles to the south of Earth's equator in Brazil and Bolivia, fearing nothing, only that it dislikes open water.
        Some say the isnashi is a vicious monster who slaughters men, while others maintain that it is herbivorous and attacks humans only when they transgress the laws of the forest with needless destruction.  In these reports of the isnashi we can see that stories may tell us as much about the teller as the subject.  Perhaps those who claim that the isnashi is vicious are themselves vicious, and color the creature by their own disposition as much as the truth.
        From the isnashi, therefore, we learn to assess the perspectives of every tale-teller we hear, and likewise to be aware of our own attitudes before we tell tales of others.”

        This is another of those creatures that cryptozoologists have speculated about.  Could there be monstrous, mutant, one-eyed megatheriums still surviving from the end of the Pleistocene, now roaming the Amazon?  Well, you never know.
        I do know that the alphabet of mythical creatures doesn’t stop there.  You have to click the link to read

[Picture: You Never Know, rubber block print by AEGN, 2018.]


A Tarkabarka Hölgy said...

Fuzzy! I like it! I wonder if it is related to sloths somehow...

The Multicolored Diary

Anne E.G. Nydam said...

Yeah, some people think it's like a giant ground sloth, and that's the version I went with, because giant ground sloths are awesome! Other people say it's more ape-like, but that didn't sound as cool to me.

Rob Z Tobor said...

It reminds me a bit of our old and very grumpy cat. He smells Like aIsnashi and has claws that turn back on themselves so that the simple act of sleeping on the sofa will destroy the sofa fabric and he then gets stuck so that we have to untangle his paws while he growls at us.

And he is certainly a vicious monster who slaughters men . . . well he would given half a chance.

Rob Z Tobor

Deborah Weber said...

I feel quite certain the Isnashi is not a vicious creature, and love your giant ground sloth influence, because, yes, giant ground sloths are awesome and who wouldn't want some of those genes?

Anne E.G. Nydam said...

Rob, have you considered the possibility that your "cat" is, in fact, something quite different? (Presumably not a duck.)

Deborah, yes, I definitely gave away my own view on just how vicious the isnashi actually is. We were fortunate enough to go to Costa Rica this past summer and see an amazing number of sloths, and I was a little sloth-crazy at the time of making this piece!

Melanie said...

I used to think I new so much mythology and yet you've got some incredible animals on your A-Z I've never heard of! I love the Isnashi! Definitely sloth-y.