Where did this horror movie thing of mummies walking come from was it just some racist weird western notion to further exotify Egypt?? Did anyone actually believe this before The Mummy (the really old version) came out in the 20’s?
Buckle up, y’all, I wrote my thesis on this so I actually know the answer to it. Please take a moment to prepare yourself for white people being even grosser than you thought we were. No, grosser. NO, grosser than that. Okay, you’re ready.
Of course, many cultures have myths about the dead rising up, but the mummy occupies a really unique place in the Western imagination. As far as we can tell, Western anxieties about Egyptian mummies didn’t appear until until the Early Modern period of European history. During this time, Europeans had some…interesting ideas about medicine. Some of these ideas involved straight-up fucking cannibalism. Yep! Mummy parts were crumbled up and used as tinctures or ingested, most frequently to stanch internal bleeding. It wasn’t until people began to realize that eating other humans might contribute to the spread of disease that the practice died out. It’s very probable that fears & anxieties about Egyptian mummies specifically came from their association with disease.
Egyptian mummies continued to be used as raw material up to and throughout the 19th century; they were used to make paint pigment and paper, and some people claim they were also used as fertilizer and fuel. (The last part is almost certainly not true, because the “fuel” thing comes from a Mark Twain joke that subsequent writers took seriously.) They were also the subject of Pettigrew’s famous mummy demonstrations, in which a greasy amateur scientist and showman unrolled mummies in front of London high society. They were ALSO taken into people’s private homes and treated as curios - having looted artifacts was considered a sign of refinement and good personal curatorship.
Despite treating mummies as objects and resources, the Victorians must have known on some level that desecrating corpses was not 100% okay, because it’s around this time that we start to see mummy fictions.
Including Victorian mummy erotica.
Mummy fictions in the 19th century mostly focused on romantic conquest of the mummy, but there was an element of horror in them too; in these fictions (including ones by Bram Stoker and Arthur Conan Doyle, among others) we see a lot of fear & anxiety about the mystical powers of the mummy, which I’m pretty sure comes from Englishmen feeling vaguely guilty about having dead people in their houses. (Not guilty enough to put them back, though!) EDIT: if you’re wondering where, specifically, the idea of mummies walking is from, it’s from these stories.
As mummy romance fell out of vogue, the accompanying horror element stayed. When the tomb of Tutankhamun was opened in 1922 and a series of unfortunate events conspired to make people believe in a curse, Western anxieties about the mummy skyrocketed, and birthed the mummy-horror tradition we see today.
Of course, all of this history IS absolutely rooted in racism and exotification; as I said in my thesis:
It is tempting to dismiss the use and abuse of mummified bodies as a quirk of history, an unusual and unrepeatable phase of Western culture. However, to do so would be to dismiss years of imperialism, of colonialist thought, in which people of “the Orient” - a category in which Egypt was definitively included - existed in the Western imagination as curios, commodities, and curiosities, not as human beings.
This concludes the super long answer that no one asked for or wanted. If you take away anything from this, I hope it’s that if you’re European, your great-great-great grandfather was probably a cannibal and your great-grandma was probably into mummy porn. Sweet dreams!
this is the most beautiful explanation I’ve ever read thank you thank you
So Europeans were literally eating the other o_0
I actually really want to read this thesis.
Nobody in the Dragon Age mythos ever seems to wonder how Fereldens just seem to magically summon their big ass dogs from nowhere.
Blood magic is forbidden, but dog magic is a delight.
Upside-Down Ads Reveal The Subtlety Of Depression
Singapore-based suicide prevention organisation Samaritans of Singapore recently ran a series of ads which cleverly uses ambigrams to highlight the difficulty in understanding and identifying depression. The print ads feature images showing a positive message.
However, when the ad is inverted, a sadder, more depressing message is revealed.
The advertisement’s tagline “The signs are there if you read them” is printed upside-down so that readers will know to flip the ads over.
It also reinforces the message that it is easy to miss the warning signs of depression.
reverse werewolves. wolves that turn into confused but excited humans every month at the full moon and run around doing weird human stuff until they wake up the next day in the middle of an office with a suit loosely draped over their wolf form
"hey, jen, did you finish those taxes?"
i feel bad for non-homestucks that saw the yaoiest motherfucker on the front page of dA today