Posted by: Loren Coleman on December 24th, 2007
Merry Wildfolk Yuletime!
Santa Claus is nothing more than a modernized image of the Wildpeople, Bigfoot, Windigo, Sasquatch, and Yeti. Enjoy the origins as an insight into hominology. Remember, the wilder the look of that woodsy-looking Old St. Nick on your tree or mantle, the closer you are to the reality of Santa Sasquatch.
The Swedish Wildmen/folk (Snömannen), Yeti-like creatures believed to inhabit the remote areas of the forest of Lapland, is linked to that of a Bigfoot painted bright red with a snowy white beard.
Old stories of the Wildpeople and Snowmen (Snömannen) are interwoven into those of Santa Claus. The traditional “Wildman of the Middle Ages” was described as a bestial, ape-like creature, with a beard. Its body was covered in thick, matted hair and smelled of a foul odor. The habitat of the wildman was the northern woods, where he lived in a cave or den. His traditional beast of burden was the reindeer. The Wildman shares all these traits with the hairy hominoids we know so well.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss follows a classic Wildman scenario: The Grinch is a hairy, Bigfoot-like creature that lives in an alpine cave in a mountain similar to the Matterhorn.
In the 2000 motion picture adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Director Ron Howard has Jim Carrey, as the green Grinch, even pose like Bigfoot in the classic Patterson-Gimlin 1967 film walk. The Wildman is drawn full circle in art, folklore, fiction, legend, and popular culture.
Wildmen and cultural icons are an intriguing topic, and so too are the thoughts explored in the wonderful book Santa Claus, Last of the Wild Men: The Origins and Evolution of Saint Nicholas, Spanning 50,000 Years by Phyllis Siefker.
Happy Wildpeople Yule Days.