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October 6, 2012
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Viper King by Hukkanaama Viper King by Hukkanaama
Piece inspired by Finnish folk stories of a great pale viper who bore a crown and a suit of armor and who was considered to be the king of all snakes. This Viper King could be both vengeful and caring. In one story, a man killed snakes that had been bothering a farmer by luring them into a fire, and he was then dragged into the bonfire by the Viper King. In another story, the King allows a lost man spend the cold winter with him in his burrow and then takes the man back to the surface when spring comes.
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:iconbluerosekelly:
BlueRoseKelly Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012
Oh this is really interesting I like it when myths have more three denominational characters.
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:iconabsolute-sero:
Absolute-Sero Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I keep coming back to look at this - I absolutely love love the colours in this picture, and the overall composition. But I'm also very fond of the folklore behind it.. snakes get demonized way too much in a lot of Western culture. And they really don't deserve it, they're such neat creatures. <3

I wonder what's going to happen to the woman in this picture... >8D
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:iconhukkanaama:
Hukkanaama Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2012  Professional
Thank you!
Snakes in old folklore is pretty fascinating, indeed! In Finland (and I suspect everywhere else in the Northern Europe) snakes were thought to possess powerful magic and you did NOT want to cross them, so they were feared and generally unwanted guests. But at the same time, though, if a snake made home in the byre it could also be seen as a protective creature, haltia which means 'keeper'. Meaning, if you kept the snake happy, it would use its magic to keep the cattle safe and producing good milk. If you didn't, the snake would avenge it and something bad would happen. There's a story of a household that had a snake keeper/guardian, but then along came a new farmhand who did not know this - he got scared of the snake and killed it. When the housewife heard of this, she screamed to the farmhand "now you killed all of our cattle" and sure enough, when she got to the byre, all her cows and bulls were dead.
Aaa, sorry, rambling. I just like talking about folklore.
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:iconabsolute-sero:
Absolute-Sero Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Quite alright, I'm not as into folklore so it's all new and exciting to me C8
And I've never heard of that story - western culture often demonizes snakes as symbols of temptation and sneakiness - or at the very least illustrates snakes as being scary.. I rather prefer the stories like this where the subjects can be good or bad, really depending on the circumstance. ♥
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:icontoksi:
Toksi Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2012
Woah! Onpa dynaaminen kuvakulma. Mahtavaa!
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:iconhukkanaama:
Hukkanaama Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Professional
Jeeeee, kiitooos!
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:iconleupstripes:
leupstripes Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Aah, I love your art so much, and then the folklore lessons are like a cherry on top! :D
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:iconhukkanaama:
Hukkanaama Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Professional
Thanks! I love sharing what I know about folklore. It's an endless source of inspiration for me and I hope I can get others interested in it, too.
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:iconcharoi:
Charoi Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Hah, en oo ikinä kuullutkaan tästä. Pitääpä lukea tästä lisää 8)
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:iconhukkanaama:
Hukkanaama Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2012  Professional
Semmoinen kirja kuin Kirsti Mäkisen Kruunupäinen käärme sisältää nuo mainitsemani pari tarinaa, ja muitakin vanhan kansan tarinoita. Erinomaisen mielenkiintoinen ja viihdyttävä kirja, jos aihe yhtään kiinnostaa. :meow:
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