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Dwarf Totem Animals...
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swordwhale
Tol Eressea


Jan 24 2013, 6:03pm

Post #1 of 26 (711 views)
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Dwarf Totem Animals... Can't Post

It occurred to me that many clans and tribes have animals that symbolize something about themselves. Individuals as well (I don't know about my ancestors, but I have a few "totem animals" or "spirit guides" who have shown up in my life (some literally, like horses and wolf-like dogs, possums and vultures and hawks and owls, some just in art or stories like Wolf or Orca), hence "swordwhale" another name for orca).

So I thought, what would the "totem animals" be for each of the members of Thorin's Company?

Here's my thoughts... what are yours?

Thorin: Majestic. Majestic. Majestic. Lions. I can't think of anthing else...dfdfjkasjkldfalksjd!!

Fili: wonderful strong edged lionlike face and mane.

Kili: enthusiastic Siberian husky pup, ready to run the whole Iditarod, but unaware of the hazards... then again, there's that nice wild horse mane... ssnorrrrt! wheeeee!

Balin: combines sweet good natured Grandfather with deep wisdom and kicks butt... he makes me think of the American possum (Didelphis virginiana ). Perhaps mountain goats: they are agile, stout, strong. Both are shorter and wider... or was that whiter....
Dwalin: bears, boars, bison, bulls...

Oin: badger, or... in the US we have a member of the mustelid family (badgers, wolverines, otters) called a fisher (fishercat). It looks like a ferret on steroids. (Martes pennanti) it is generally dark, but could come in other color phases.
Gloin: wolverine, just wolverine. Perhaps his battlecry should be snickt...

Bifur: more manic mustelidae, I keep thinking badger, the black and white color scheme works too.
Bofur: raven (bright, funny, loyal, adaptable, agile, strong, good voice... the list goes on)
Bombur: beaver...I volunteered with a wildlife rehabber who had a lecture beaver (we took her to educational programs). Handling her was like wrestling a 60 pound hamster... or a giant water balloon... but they can swim fast, dive deep and don't corner them!

I have more trouble with these three...

Ori: and I suddenly thought of Verne the Turtle in Over the Hedge.. no wait... perhaps a small owl, like a screechie, they're vulnerable because of their size, but they are a lot of power packed in a small package. And there's that round hairstyle, like an owl's head.
Dori: mother hen... no wait, that doesn't work, oh, wait, have you ever watched chickens? This is why we never domesticated any over ten pounds... they're tiny little feathered dinosaurs. You don't mess with them... And don't get me started on turkeys, the one I knew chased cars, hated the color red, and attacked anyone carrying a bag...
Nori: ferret (I had one, they're a Force of Nature), or a fox, fits the hair.

Bilbo: there is something rabbitty about him, twitchy, (watch his nose), light, quick, clever, and he can be quite cryptic (invisible). And if you think rabbits are wimpy, think of those Rhosgobel rabbits. Or that 6' Easter Bunny in Rise of the Guardians (boomerangs, tribal tattoos, and a voice that sounds just like Wolverine... because it is Hugh Jackman).

Well, there's my brainburps. Let's see what all you come up with...

Go outside and play...


Ereinion Nénharma
Lorien

Jan 24 2013, 6:19pm

Post #2 of 26 (383 views)
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Am I correct... [In reply to] Can't Post

...if I understand that you actually believe a thing such as a ''spirit guide'' actually exists, or am I not?

''Do not fear the shadows, for seeing them means light is near...''

(This post was edited by Ereinion Nénharma on Jan 24 2013, 6:20pm)


Bombadil
Half-elven


Jan 24 2013, 6:53pm

Post #3 of 26 (352 views)
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Go with it! [In reply to] Can't Post

Bomby loves this....
Any creative fantasy thinking belongs here.
In British Columbia the totem poles are mind boggling.

Agreed about many of your choices...
ModS up to you.

Your old friend...
you just met.

Bomby


Aragalen the Green
Gondor


Jan 24 2013, 7:01pm

Post #4 of 26 (344 views)
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Wonderful! [In reply to] Can't Post

Fili reminds me of a cougar/puma/American lion (several different names, Puma concolor).

Nori=fox

Dori is a tricky one, I do like your analogy of a Mother Hen. Really got to watch those dinosaurs!

There it is: dwarves are not heroes, but calculating folk with a great idea of the value of money; some are tricky and treacherous and pretty bad lots; some are not, but are decent enough people like Thorin and Company, if you don't expect too much.


swordwhale
Tol Eressea


Jan 25 2013, 4:44am

Post #5 of 26 (243 views)
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the universe is... [In reply to] Can't Post

 
...not only weirder than you imagine, it's weirder than you can imagine. There is a very shady area between scientific fact and metaphor. I actually hate the word metaphor, I feel it robs the images or stories of their power (rather like Tolkien disliking "allegory"). I've had many animals in my life who have taught me stuff. Paying attention to their characteristics teaches you something about your own relationship to the world. As to whether there are unseen Forces guiding your life... that's between you and the very weird universe.

I was actually thinking more like" what critters do these guys evoke? What would their personal animals be? Or do they have a clan emblem?"



In Reply To
...if I understand that you actually believe a thing such as a ''spirit guide'' actually exists, or am I not?


Go outside and play...


swordwhale
Tol Eressea


Jan 25 2013, 4:45am

Post #6 of 26 (239 views)
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cougarrrrrrrrrrrrrr [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Fili reminds me of a cougar/puma/American lion (several different names, Puma concolor).

That's a good one! Hadn't thought of that!

Nori=fox

Dori is a tricky one, I do like your analogy of a Mother Hen. Really got to watch those dinosaurs!


Go outside and play...


totoro
Lorien

Jan 25 2013, 4:54am

Post #7 of 26 (242 views)
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hmmm [In reply to] Can't Post

Thorin: Lion
Fili: Eagle
Kili: Wolf
Balin: Owl
Dwalin: Bear
Oin: Turtle
Gloin: Bull
Bifur: Wolverine
Bofur: Horse
Bombur: Pig
Ori: Rabbit
Dori: Mouse
Nori: Raccoon
Bilbo: Sparrow


swordwhale
Tol Eressea


Jan 25 2013, 6:42am

Post #8 of 26 (231 views)
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Dorimouse [In reply to] Can't Post

Dorimouse...Dormouse... LaughLaughLaughLaughLaugh

Go outside and play...


Starling
Half-elven


Jan 25 2013, 7:33am

Post #9 of 26 (245 views)
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Well [In reply to] Can't Post

When I stood last Saturday on the wild beach where my mother's ashes were scattered, there was not a living creature to be seen.
When I shut my eyes and thought of her, this woman who adored nature and had a particular affinity with birds, after only a second I felt compelled to open my eyes.
When I opened my eyes, there, directly in front of me was a solitary tern.

There are many sensible explanations for this, but I know what my heart tells me.


Bombadil
Half-elven


Jan 25 2013, 11:27am

Post #10 of 26 (200 views)
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Beautiful wonderous unexplainable!.../// [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Bombadil
Half-elven


Jan 25 2013, 11:45am

Post #11 of 26 (215 views)
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A great friend of Bombys is from British Columbia. [In reply to] Can't Post

He is native and the tribe
he is from is absolutely
Unpronounceable. ( in English)

On Vancouver Island (which is different than the city)
There is a Totem Pole factory?

... you may want to look up on the Internet.
Only natives are allowed to carve.

As an aside note
our John Howe
Was born and raised in British Columbia.

So bomby is thinking
John Howe
Knows a bit
about Animal totems.


Hengist
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jan 25 2013, 12:22pm

Post #12 of 26 (214 views)
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Interesting [In reply to] Can't Post

and I like your ideas on what animal per dwarf, but to add another layer would dwarves have a totem animal -elves certainly but maybe not dwarves? Would dwarves not be more aligned to certain gems or metals - like birthstones for instance? What gem/metal would Thorin be - Diamond and Mithril maybe?


" So let me get this straight. You want to fly on a magic carpet to see the King of the Potato People and plead with him for your freedom, and you're telling me you're completely sane? "


swordwhale
Tol Eressea


Jan 25 2013, 7:03pm

Post #13 of 26 (188 views)
Shortcut
BC... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
He is native and the tribe
he is from is absolutely
Unpronounceable. ( in English)

On Vancouver Island (which is different than the city)
There is a Totem Pole factory?

... you may want to look up on the Internet.
Only natives are allowed to carve.

As an aside note
our John Howe
Was born and raised in British Columbia.

So bomby is thinking
John Howe
Knows a bit
about Animal totems.


I never knew John Howe was from BC! Cool!

I have never been there, though I have read some of the tales of the Kwakiutl (one of those names totally unpronounceable in English due to having sounds that don't exist in English) and other local tribes. One that struck me was a sort of northwest coast version of the selkie tales.

Everywhere there are seals, there are tales of the seal folk who take off their sealskins to walk on land in human form (perhaps because seals have such large soulful eyes). There is a fine little film called The Secret of Roane Inish (Seal Island) which uses this as a theme. I kept tripping over northwest coast mentions of similar tales involving the orcafolk, who take off their fins to walk on land... the fin becomes a boat. This inspired my "swordwhale" theme... http://www.swordwhale.com/ ... and a few stories and bits of art.

Eric Hoyt, in "Orca: the Whale Called Killer" has a list of names for the biggest of dolphins in various languages. In Kwakiutl it is something like mak-eh-nuk, which is a highly mangled Anglified version of the real word that I can't pronounce.

The totem poles are awesome. I hope the Native folk continue to make the real ones, and not allow it to become some sort of commercial mess.

Once I met a lovely Haida grandmother at an event. She tried to show me how to pronounce "haida"... I was appallingly linguistically impaired. Looks so simple... isn't at all.

I'd really reek at Khuzdul.

Go outside and play...


swordwhale
Tol Eressea


Jan 25 2013, 7:06pm

Post #14 of 26 (198 views)
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Now there's a thought. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
and I like your ideas on what animal per dwarf, but to add another layer would dwarves have a totem animal -elves certainly but maybe not dwarves? Would dwarves not be more aligned to certain gems or metals - like birthstones for instance? What gem/metal would Thorin be - Diamond and Mithril maybe?


A friend of mine is very into all sorts of New Agey crystal work... it seems each kind and color has its own properties. Of course Dwarves would have mineral associations! It would probably go well beyond birthstones.

In the category of Dwarf Magic (though the actual "magic" in Middle Earth is fairly subtle) I bet they'd use gems and minerals.

Go outside and play...


swordwhale
Tol Eressea


Jan 25 2013, 7:24pm

Post #15 of 26 (182 views)
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been there... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
When I stood last Saturday on the wild beach where my mother's ashes were scattered, there was not a living creature to be seen.
When I shut my eyes and thought of her, this woman who adored nature and had a particular affinity with birds, after only a second I felt compelled to open my eyes.
When I opened my eyes, there, directly in front of me was a solitary tern.

There are many sensible explanations for this, but I know what my heart tells me.


That is wonderful!

I have also had those moments. The pragmatic among us will say it is coincidence, it is you reading meaning into something mundane. But to them I say, phooey! There is more to the universe than meets the eye.

I had a dog (a large Siberian mix named Agliuk) die of a mysterious fast moving illness. Worse than not being able to save him, was that we'd had a training conflict (somewhat resolved) over which I felt guilty (stupid human). I was devastated. I scattered his ashes in various places we'd run the sled and rig, and hiked. Then one last bit: a paddle in my kayak out to the Petroglyph Rock in the Susquehanna river.

http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2010/07/safe_harbors_secret.html

http://www.swordwhale.com/thunderbird-island-petroglyphs-on-the-susquehanna.html

(now, there's something Dwarvish...)

Native tribes carved pictures in these rocks long ago. Probably a sacred site. Hard to find. Inaccessible by any but a small boat. (Walk softly when you're there, in socks or bare feet.) The carvings are old and weathered, you can only see them if the sun is low, or you sweep a damp sponge over them.

I paddled up, anchored the kayak. Climbed carefully up one end of the rock (with an offering of sage). I stared down in disbelief. Rocking in the wind, on the rock, was a solitary eagle feather.

Eagles live on that part of the river. They fish there. Often you'll see one or two when you are out, they are coming back from the brink quite well. But they are not precisely common. They shed feathers... but not that often, and not often large ones. It was windy, and the likelihood of an eagle just randomly shedding a secondary flight feather right over the rock, and it staying there long enough for me to find it, photograph it, and stick it in my sage bundle (and leave it there, it's illegal to own them if you're not a Native) was... well, kind of like a Hobbit walking into Mordor.

A few weeks later a friend told me about a dog the SPCA had, a big Siberian/Shepard mix who needed a home... he was oddly similar to Agliuk... of course I took him home. And named him Legolas.

Go outside and play...


Starling
Half-elven


Jan 25 2013, 7:54pm

Post #16 of 26 (196 views)
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Wow [In reply to] Can't Post

I enjoyed looking at those links - thank you.
I noticed you mentioned The Secret of Roan Inish elsewhere in this thread. I love that film. Do you know another little gem called Into the West? If you haven't seen it already, I highly recommend it.

By the way, I just noticed your horsey thread in Fan Art last night, and have replied to it. Smile


swordwhale
Tol Eressea


Jan 25 2013, 8:16pm

Post #17 of 26 (172 views)
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Into the West [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I enjoyed looking at those links - thank you.
I noticed you mentioned The Secret of Roan Inish elsewhere in this thread. I love that film. Do you know another little gem called Into the West? If you haven't seen it already, I highly recommend it.

By the way, I just noticed your horsey thread in Fan Art last night, and have replied to it. Smile


yup, saw that, have that somewhere in my files!

I wonder if there are some more folks out there who are trying to draw horses?

Go outside and play...


zarabia
Grey Havens


Jan 26 2013, 1:47am

Post #18 of 26 (174 views)
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Maybe dwarves would like these [In reply to] Can't Post

The Zunis of New Mexico carve animals from stone that are called fetishes - unfortunate word as it congers up other images. Actually, true fetishes are used for religious purposes; the pieces that are collected are considered carvings. Different animals, carved from different colored stone, represent the four directions plus up and down.

http://www.zunispirits.com/index.html#STORY

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zuni_fetishes

Yes, they are collectible, but they (well, the ones shown above anyway) aren't mass produced. I used to work in a museum shop where these were sold, and after a while you can tell the different artists' styles. I prefer the more traditional bears, cougars, badgers, etc., but some artists have branched into more exotic animals.

Anyway, the beautiful stone material they use - rhodochrosite, lapis lazuli, turquoise, etc. - brings out my dwarvish side. Laugh

"The question isn't where, Constable, but when." - Inspector Spacetime


zarabia
Grey Havens


Jan 26 2013, 1:57am

Post #19 of 26 (155 views)
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That's lovely! [In reply to] Can't Post

   

Quote

There are many sensible explanations for this, but I know what my heart tells me.



I'm a big science nerd - I love Stephen Hawking and Brian Greene - but I also feel that the more we learn and understand, the more we realize that there is so much more we don't understand.

"The question isn't where, Constable, but when." - Inspector Spacetime


zarabia
Grey Havens


Jan 26 2013, 2:05am

Post #20 of 26 (159 views)
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How about... [In reply to] Can't Post

LOTR characters? I haven't seen TH, yet...long storyTongue so I'm not familiar with the different dwarf personalities as portrayed in the film. But I thought Aragorn could be symbolized by the horse. Like many horses I've met, he's peaceful and gentle, but courageous and proud.

"The question isn't where, Constable, but when." - Inspector Spacetime


silneldor
Half-elven


Jan 26 2013, 5:07am

Post #21 of 26 (189 views)
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Somehow i see Bilbo [In reply to] Can't Post

as a prairie dog or a marmot , at least in the beginning. Only other thought is that Gloin is bear-like, so maybe like the griz.















Bombadil
Half-elven


Jan 27 2013, 11:19am

Post #22 of 26 (172 views)
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Bombys cats are named Aragorn and Arwen [In reply to] Can't Post

He is a ring tailed Tabby
.. mostly gray Thin stripes of black white;
just a little brown under his tummy.
The multi colored stripes on his sides
look like? he's is wearing chainmail.

She is a tuxedo cat
black and white
very much the coloring of Liv Tyler.

They are brother and sister.

Personalities ; he is a very A list Hunter
she is a quiet lap baby.

Lately
a squirrel is feeding on the condo balcony patio
7 floors above the street....
kitty TV?


silneldor
Half-elven


Jan 27 2013, 8:46pm

Post #23 of 26 (160 views)
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Holy cats Bombi [In reply to] Can't Post

I just took this shot about an hour ago.. Rare cuddle-up too.

Your Arwen is like my female 'scooter' (on far right).
And your Aragorn is somewhat similar to my male pip-pep (pippin-pepsi) in the middle. They are brother and sister as well. They really are quite different. Scooter is slight and pip-pep is a bit larger and rather muscled.

The lap cat of the bunch is our ' lovie', (95% dark-coffee-colored) oldest and most senior member of the family. (on left)

We have a bird feeder right out the window that drives them nuts lol.















swordwhale
Tol Eressea


Jan 31 2013, 5:11am

Post #24 of 26 (112 views)
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I really should go do some serious art but... [In reply to] Can't Post

... I had fun with our favorite Dwarves and their animals... possible animals...

Dear sweet kili... you remind me of every manic Siberian I've ever hooked to a bike and been dragged down a trail by...

I think Mountain Goats are Majestic.

And you have no idea what a Force of Nature Shetland Ponies are...

http://swordwhale.tumblr.com/

Go outside and play...


swordwhale
Tol Eressea


Jan 31 2013, 5:12am

Post #25 of 26 (115 views)
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I seem to have the clone... [In reply to] Can't Post

... of the black cat...

mine is named Nightcrawler.

(fuzzy, dark, golden eyed, long tail, pointy ears, and he most certainly bamfs)

Go outside and play...

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