Galleries : Undying Tales 2023 : UT 2023 - Dhole

Available for purchase:
8.5x11 inch print ($25.00)
Original Drawing ($215.00)

Cuon alpinus

Status: Endangered. Dhole have a wide range, that stretches across Siberia, India, Java, Sumatra, and China. Though they only rarely attack domestic livestock, they were still hunted and killed to protect livestock, and for the belief that they were responsible for diminishing game populations. As large predators they are crucial in regulating healthy populations of smaller mammals and reptiles.

Huli, fox spirits, appear throughout folktales China. They were supernatural shape-shifters, that sometimes appeared as a man or woman, bewitching those that they came across. They were both feared, as well as worshiped and given offerings at shrines to maintain their appeasement and good will. The stories are full of benevolent fox spirits bestowing good fortune and wealth, as well as malicious and vindictive ones.

There are legends that foxes haunt old temples, abandoned shrines, and graveyards, living amongst ghosts. They dig up skulls and place them upon their bodies and perform obeisance towards the North Star. If the skull does not fall off, they then are transformed into a beautiful human.

Huli jing were fox spirit women, or a human woman who was possessed by or under the influence of a fox spirit. In encounters with humans, they invariably, sometimes unintentionally drew out the life-force of their consorts, in a way that was similar to how ghosts hungered for the sustaining energy of a living spirit. Foxes desired this energy for the purpose of aiding their quest for immortality and achieving unity with the dao. Occasionally they would feel remorse and heal those victims as well, returning that absorbed energy. Daji, a famously cruel and malevolent concubine of the last king of the Shang Dynasty in ancient China, was said to have been possessed by a fox spirit.

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Size: 6 x 6 inches
Medium: Ink
©2023, Stephanie Law