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Where do zombies come from?

The Origin Of The Zombie Folklore

The word ‘Zombie’ is derived from West African languages, with the Mitsogo language of Gabon describing them as ‘ndzumbi’, which means a corpse, to the Kongo language using the word ‘nzambi’ meaning the spirit of a dead person.

Pop culture and folklore from the Caribbean and Haiti seem to be the birthplaces for the concept of zombies that the American audiences crave so much.

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Where do zombies come from?

Where do zombies come from?

https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20150828-where-do-zombies-come-from

bbc.com

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Key Ideas

Zombies Gaining Popularity

Zombies, a staple of pop culture horror, first started appearing in novels and pulp magazines in the 20s, finally debuting on celluloid in 1932 with the movie White Zombie, though many attribute their mainstream popularity to the 1968 adaptation of the Richard Matheson novel 'I Am Legend', called The Night Of The Living Dead.

The Origin Of The Zombie Folklore

The word ‘Zombie’ is derived from West African languages, with the Mitsogo language of Gabon describing them as ‘ndzumbi’, which means a corpse, to the Kongo language using the word ‘nzambi’ meaning the spirit of a dead person.

Pop culture and folklore from the Caribbean and Haiti seem to be the birthplaces for the concept of zombies that the American audiences crave so much.

Zombies From The Caribbean Region

  • The Caribbean and its surrounding areas carried a large number of slaves, transporting them across the Atlantic, for making them work in farming. This created a mix of religions and infused many different traditions and practices like Catholicism, voodoo, Obeah and Santeria.
  • Certain ‘bokors’ or witch-doctors in Martinique and Haiti created magic potions and used hypnotic spells to render victims dead, and then enslave or capture them, making them their personal slaves, The zombie, thus became a slave without any will or name, trapped forever in a living hell.
  • The French Colony (later Haiti) where slaves were especially big in number and suffered the worst, witnessed a rebellion, and the rulers were overthrown in 1791. In 1915, when The US occupied Haiti, the native religion of Voodoo was spread even more. Stories of the vengeful dead coming out of the grave and chasing people became popular in pulp magazines of the 20s and 30s.

Searching For The Real Zombies

The earliest writers of zombie tales like the novelist Zora Neale Hurston and occultist William Seabrook claim to have seen actual zombies and do not consider it a primitive superstition or folklore.

They believe that zombies actually exist and have documented many experiences and findings.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Zombie Craze as Medium and a Message
  • As a medium, zombies can be used as a comparison and an example to better discuss concerns and problems in the community.
  • It could also serve as a message to promote awareness on how z...
Zombie Symbolism

A lot of symbolism can be interpreted in popular zombie films. 

The undead are the ultimate other of any us-and-them division, especially if you consider us to be savvy and them to be brainless. But Zombies were not used as just a frightening enemy, but were used to show the ills of the society: consumerism, capitalism, terrorism, etc. 

Zombie Economics

Zombie economics refers to theories or ideas that are long gone, but still refuse to die.

At this basic metaphorical level, "zombie economics," for example, can describe socialists or free-market thinking, depending on which side you believe holds the monopoly on functioning synapses.

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Misconceptions About Zombies
Misconceptions About Zombies

A zombie is a walking corpse, a living dead. But not all walking corpse is a zombie.

Unlike many other undead, the zombie is mindless, vacant, without purpose. The zom...

How Zombies are Reflected in Life

A lot of people have related zombies to the lives of humans, mostly social ills, including consumerism, racism, capitalism, and terrorism.

Most of the films about zombies are not about the zombies themselves, but on how people cope or with the reality of the undead.

Samsara = Life of a Zombie

Samsara is a belief in Buddhism meaning the cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth. It is new life, but it is still full of suffering. As long as we are alive, suffering is present because it is natural for us to wish for good things not to end even though we knew that it would.

Just like the zombie which suffers because of its endless hunger, never satisfied and moves on to another prey which also ends up as a zombie.

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A Zombie's drive
A Zombie's drive

Zombies are unstoppable. Even though a zombie is missing a limb or two or being shot at, it just keeps on going.

Although they always stumble, they always have the drive to...

Zombies are relatable

There are times that we feel heavy and problems seem to weigh us down, and later on, it feels almost impossible to keep moving to what we want.. we feel lifeless, but still alive.

And this can all be likened to the life of a zombie.

Moving forward

The good thing about being a zombies is that they still have that urge to move forward to their goals after all of the setbacks. And that attitude is what we should apply in our lives.

"Zombie"

The word comes from the Hatian folklore and refers to a corpse animated by witchcraft.

In philosophy, this idea of a regular human but with no conscious experiences is...

P-zombie as a Foundation to Dualism

If a p-zombie is logically conceivable, a physical body minus the mental, then this possibility could support dualism - an alternative view that sees the world consisting of not just the physical but also the mental. In other words, since a world of zombies is imaginable, all behaving purely at the physical level, why did evolution produce consciousness in humans?

The Physicalism Analogy: A Proof to Dualism
  1. Physicalism says that everything in our world is physical.
  2. If physicalism is true, everything in out world is physical including consciousness.
  3. But we can conceive of a “zombie world", a physical world without consciousness then,
  4. Physicalism is proven false, because our world consists of both physical and mental attributes.

The existence of consciousness is a further, nonphysical fact about our world.

Don’t Be Alone

Horror movie tip: never split up. Monsters, murderers, and creeps have it easier when they can divide and conquer.

Real world parallel: trying to better your fitness by yourself is ...

Get Good At Sprinting

Horror movie tip: Most horror movie bad guys are very slow but watch where you step so you don’t trip. Simply maintaining a brisk walking pace after sighting the enemy should be enough to get to safety.

Real world parallel: Spend time leveling up your sprinting skills. It builds strength, power, VO2max, endurance and quality of life while also helping you lose weight if paired with a healthy diet.

Training Brains, Technique And Strength

Horror movie tip: the unintelligent and unprepared often die in movies, so get smarter, train yourself and learn how to use tools and new skills.

Real world parallel: take a tactical approach to both your training and your behavior. Train functionally so that your body is prepared to function. Use your environment, your body weight and free weights to exercise. will give you a better body and the best chance for survival.

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Insight from literature

Over the history of Western literature about pandemics, much has been said in the way of catharsis, ways of dealing with intense emotion, and political commentary on how people respond to public he...

Stories help us to think

Homer's Iliad opens with a plague visited upon the Greek camp at Troy. The Decameron (1353) by Giovanni Boccaccio is set during the Black Death.

The stories offer the listeners ways to consider how similar crises have been managed previously, and how to reorganize their daily lives, which have been suspended due to the epidemic.

Authority's failure to respond
  • Mary Shelley's apocalypse novel The Last Man (1826), depicts the life of Lionel Verney, who becomes the last man after a devastating global plague. The book criticizes the institutional responses to the plague, showing the revolutionary utopianism and the in-fighting that breaks out among surviving groups before they also die.
  • The short story, The Masque of the Red Death (1842), also shows the failures o authority figures to respond to a disaster appropriately.

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"Most people don’t believe something can happen until it already has. That’s not stupidity, that’s just human nat..."

Max Brooks, World War Z
Lack of practical skills

Our modern job descriptions largely rely on our minds rather than our physical skills in order to get work done.
Having some basic practical skills to complement your “soft” skills will certainly come in handy in survival scenarios, particularly when it comes to rebuilding from catastrophe. And you can develop them by simply trying things out.

Practice self-reliance in advance

Not only will having DIY skills help you rebuild your community, they also greatly increase your self-reliance.
This means being able to take care of yourself and survive with little and work with what you have. But don't wait until you need to be self-reliant to cultivate these skills.

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Primary factors that make horror films alluring
  • Tension - Generated by suspense, mystery, terror, shock and gore.
  • Relevance - The horror film may relate to personal relevance, cultural meaningfulness, the fea...
Viewing motivators for horror movies
  • Gore watchers typically have low empathy, high sensation seeking, and a strong identification with the killer.
  • Thrill watchers typically have both high empathy and sensation seeking;they identify themselves more with the victims and like the suspense of the film.
  • Independent watchers typically have a high empathy for the victim along with a high positive effect for overcoming fear.
  • Problem watchers typically have high empathy for the victim but are characterized by negative effect (particularly a sense of helplessness).
Theories on why we love to watch horror films
  • Dr. Carl Jung believed horror films “tapped into primordial archetypes buried deep in our collective subconscious – images like shadow and mother play important role in the horror genre”.
  • Horror films are watched as a way of purging negative emotions and/or as a way to relieve pent-up aggression.
  • Horror movies are enjoyed because the people on screen getting killed deserve it.
  • Cultural historian David Skal has argued that horror films simply reflect our societal fears.
Humour in philosophy
Humour in philosophy
  • Henri Bergson, a Fresh philosopher of the late 19th century, was also an author of a famous essay that focused on laughter. Before Bergson, few philosophers had given laughter much t...
Humour and respect

Everyone who ever had to explain their own joke knows that comedy cannot survive analysis. Once you take humour apart, it loses its effect and dies in the process.

Henri Bergson published his essay on laughter in 1900. He believed that laughter should be studied as 'a living thing' and treated with 'the respect due to life.'

Conditions for laughter to thrive

Henri Bergson's general observations related to when laughter is most likely to appear and thrive:

  • The comic is strictly human. When laughter is directed at non-humans, we may laugh, but only because we have detected some human attitude or expression.
  • Laughter has no greater foe than emotion. Emotional states like pity, melancholy, rage, etc. make it difficult for us to find humour in the things we might otherwise have laughed at. But humour also appears to serve as a coping mechanism in the face of tragedy or misfortune.
  • Laughter seems to require an echo. It is used in the context of social bonding.

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Our new accent fixation

We seem more obsessed with analyzing accents than ever before. Voice coaches draw millions of views for videos critiquing accents.

While there is a key to mastering an accent successfully,...

No more ‘funny voices’

Accents are part of the broader debate about representation in film and TV. Film and television are now available for screen-grabs and sound clips that allow us to reflect over performances for embarrassing mistakes.

The days when English-speaking actors put on accents and told the world they were Russian or German are over. The idea of an accent that is just a 'funny voice' is increasingly unacceptable, particularly one of a different nationality to the actor.

Ignoring authenticity

Recently, an option seems to be ignoring authenticity completely and have actors perform in their native intonation. The hope is that the focus on the accent will fade away and cause viewers to stop caring about it.

The focus is more about being authentic to the essence of the story, rather than every tiny detail.

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