Cryptids and Disasters: Serpents and a Werewolf in the Western Indian Ocean Region
Disasters, such as those linked to floods and cyclones, are physical events filtered through cultural lenses and beliefs. Cryptids, including nature spirits and mythological beasts, are sometimes reported during disasters or in their immediate aftermath. This article describes and examines two cases of disasters and cryptids from the western Indian Ocean region: serpents in northeast Tanzania and a werewolf in Mauritius. Cryptids help members of society to express the trauma of disaster and to make anxiety relatable. Moreover, through sightings of cryptids and debates about them, they help to make rebalancing possible in anticipation of the future. Disaster experiences can be more completely understood by accounting for cultural responses.
Copyright (c) 2022 Jonathan R. Walz and Rory A. Walshe
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