Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Dragons: A Tale of Two Hemispheres

Dragons are legendary creatures that have held the fascination of so many people for centuries. Revered by some and feared by others, the dragon will always have a place in fantasy lore and fiction around the world. In fact, the dragon is represented in completely opposite extremes in the eastern and western cultures.

In the East—Benevolent Creatures
Asian cultures view dragons as large snake-like creatures with a benevolent, or friendly, nature. Dragons in Asia are associated with water, and they are also believed to be able to take on a human form. The Chinese culture so strongly believes in the dragon’s generosity that they made a five-clawed dragon the symbol for their emperors. Dragons are also a recurring theme in Chinese folk lore, and they are a common sight at Chinese festivals.

Here at Hamilton, we have researched these Eastern beliefs to create dragons that embody the traditional beliefs about Asian dragons. Here is an image of an Eastern-inspired dragon we created called “Dragon of Good Fortune.”

In the West—Malevolent Demons
Contrary to the beliefs about dragons in the East, the European views of dragons are quite different. Dragons have historically been described as bat-winged, reptile-like creatures with an elongated tail. Westerners have also typically viewed dragons as fire breathing, malevolent creatures who are earth dwellers—residing in an underground lair or cave. It’s also worth noting that while Western dragons have wings, their Eastern counterparts typically don’t.

Below is an image of a Western inspired dragon we created called “Youngblood.” This is an enormously popular dragon—a definite customer favorite!

(Youngblood is still available and you can click here if you wish to add it to your collection.)

Whether you favor the benevolent, mystical dragons of the East or the fire-breathing demons of the West, The Hamilton Collection has a range of beautifully detailed collectibles that meticulously capture the beauty and mystery of these legendary creatures.

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