History of the Wild Man in Europe

North America has the Bigfoot or Sasquatch, and there taymouth hoursare similar creatures in wilder regions the world over.

We think of Europe as having been civilized and settled for a long time, however, there are, in fact, legends of hairy wild men even in Europe.  In Britain, the creature is known as the woodwose or wodewose.

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Rare treasure found in Suffolk depicts medieval ‘Wild Man’

12 December 2015

Historians say people were fascinated by the Wild Man in the Medieval age.

 

A 500-year-old artefact is one of the earliest depictions of a mythical figure from medieval Europe, an expert has claimed.

Metal detectorists found the spoon handle with an engraving of “Wild Man” near Woodbridge in Suffolk.

A leading historian has hailed the discovery as a “rare find”.

woderose 1

Some of the earliest writings about The Wild Man come from Spain in the 9th Century and he was described as “barbaric, chaotic and unrestrained”.

Covered in leaves and brandishing a club, the hairy Wild Man was a popular medieval mythical figure mostly found in pictures and literature rather than on objects.

Professor of history Ronald Hutton, from the University of Bristol, said: “It’s certainly one of the earliest depictions of the Wild Man.

There would have been earlier ones on manuscripts and tapestries but not like this.”

He said it would have been owned by someone “well-off” and from the “upper to middle class”.

People were fascinated by the creature who was “barbaric, chaotic and unrestrained”, he said.

“This might have been given to someone as a present to remind them of how not to behave,” he added.

“He was a bogey in a world obsessed with religious and social order, an awful warning of the consequences of a lack of either.”

The figure is being valued by the British Museum, which will then decide what to do with it.

bbc

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There is a Wiki page in the topic:  wiki

A Google image search yields a great many portrayals of the wild man.

wodewose carvedwodewose 1wodewose 2 - Copywoderwose 5woderose 3

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