Friday, July 5, 2013

Not Yeti Friday - Aqrabuamelu


Aqrabuamelu are great, and their name is fun to say.  These Scorpion Men are one of the first monsters the human race ever dreamed up, appearing as they do in the Epic of Gilgamesh - one of the oldest stories we know. 

A husband and wife team, they guard the gates to the Sun God, performing day-in and day-out the thankless task of letting him in and out each day so that he can, you know, make the day happen.   They are the original bouncers - you aren't getting in unless you go through them first.  The Aqrabuamelu have an awful reputation, their lower body being a scorpion not doing them any favors. In the story, all mortals fear their terrible wrath.  Gilgamesh shows up at the door they guard, seeking entry.  He wants to speak with the Sumerian Proto-Noah (I forget his name), who resides beyond, so he can learn the secrets of immortality.

Gilgs is all like: "LET ME IN! I AM PREPARED TO FIGHT YOU!"

Now, mortals are not allowed beyond the gates.  That's a big no-no. But contrary to what you'd expect, Mr. and Mrs. Scorpion-Man are actually pretty nice to the epic warrior.  They recognize that Gilgamesh is only 25% mortal and are even willing to let it slide.  But before they let him through, they're such decent scorpion-people that they try their best to warn him of what lies beyond their gates.  Gilgy ignores the warnings and pleads and pleads, and finally, they relent and open the gates. No doubt they yelled after him one last concerned, "Be careful!", as he ventured in.


I like that they're one of the first and most terrifying monsters we ever told stories about, and yet, they're depicted as a nice, considerate couple that doesn't want the hero to get hurt.

Visual depictions, on the other hand, aren't afraid to make 'em look pretty nasty.






Here's an early depiction of the Aqrabuamelu:

And here's the Monster in My Pocket toy inspired by that depiction:

I <3 Aqrabuamelu.

1 comment:

Savvy said...

And here I thought the Scorpion King was an original idea.