Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Zaj, Nak, Naga or Lung?

One rarely spots Hmong depictions of the Zaj in paj ntaub textiles posted online. Or Zaj in any format, notably. However, it has been noted that when they do appear they are often shown in pairs in the river or lake. 

This is also a very interesting piece in that the heads are VERY different from those of a Nak, Naga, Ryu or Lung. I think it provides an interesting case for my assertion that we should recognize the zaj as a different creature than just "Naga by another name." Compare it to the heads of the Nak below, and you'll see a notable difference.

Confucius once wrote that wisdom begins when we call things by their proper names. We differentiate between a basilisk, a wyvern, a dragon, and a dinosaur. We should differentiate between a Zaj, a Nak, Bakunawa and other legendary Asian reptilian entities.

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