Galleries : Undying Tales 2019/2020 : UT 18 - Hamerkop



HAMERKOP - 6.5x6.5 inches $180.00 (SOLD)
Hamerkop I - 3.5x4.5 inches $35.00 (SOLD)
Spirit - 3.5x4.5 inches $35.00 (SOLD)

Highlighted Species: Scopus umbretta

Status: Not endangered, but an example of a creature that is safe due to the protection offered by superstition and legend.

Hamerkops reside in wetlands and near rivers, by lakes and mangroves and paddy fields. Their shadows are notably seen skimming waters surface or wading at dusk, when the sun’s disk is low in the sky and the air stills as day and night meld in an otherworldly boundary. Their cry is an eerie ululation. It sends shivers down the spines of those who hear it, and visions of death in the winged dance they perform as they feed at a pool.

Hamerkops are respected and feared in equal measure, for they are omens of death. The Hottentots believe that hamerkops can see the future reflected in a pool of water for a death to come, or see death in a falling star over a persons house. When they see such, they fly to the dwelling place of the person and cry out with their strange song: a tangle of mourning, warning, and inescapable fate.

Superstitions of ill-fate befalling those who harm the nest of a hamerkop, as well as their often revered status as otherworldly creatures, have protected them from incursions of man, though they often live in close proximity to humans.

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Size: 6 x 6 inches
Medium: Ink
©2020, Stephanie Law

Detail closeups: