Tuesday, July 03, 2012

A hanuman monkey

This little quiltie has just been mailed off to my swap partner.  The theme was "zoo animals."  Well, who ever went to a zoo that didn't have monkeys?  Right? 

But few, if any zoos, have Hanuman monkeys --which is because they are probably the most common monkey in Indian, the southern Himalayas and other parts of southeast Asia.  I first encountered them in Nepal and later in Darjeeling.  I got the impression they are thought of as simple pest in the way we think of squirrels, although, being monkeys I think they're smarter. They have learned both to beg and to mug victims who carry edibles in too easily an accessible way.

But their name is a royal one and goes back to the Ramayana, one of India's most favorite epics.  It seems the blue-skinned god, Rama, had a beautiful wife, Sita.  She was kidnapped by a demon and carries away to Lanka -- which later was known as Celyon and now is called Sri Lanka.  In order to rescue Sita, one of Rama's most loyal disciples, Hanuman who was the son of the King and Queen of the  monkeys, rallied an army made up of monkeys and bears.  They cleverly made of themselves a living bridge between India and Lanka and then Rama rode across the bridge sitting on Hanuman's shoulders.  As they approached, Ram, still on Hanuman's shoulders, shot an arrow that pierced the heart of the demon.  He and Hanuman rescued Sita and further adventures followed.

1 comment :

Ladydy5 aka: Diane Yates said...

I love it. As usual.