The first article is a medical study of the Haitian Zombie which is the culture that originated the concept of the walking dead. Basically the African slaves worshiped numerous Gods and the Spanish Catholic Priests attempted to impose the European Christianity on the slaves in the Caribbean. Voodoo was hidden in the Catholic religion for centuries. Voodoo believes in being in tune with your environment. If you are Ill there are two possibilities. One Is you are out of whack with nature and a Voodoo priest or priestess can get you back In harmony. Two Is someone Is attacking you magically.
Then you hire a Voodoo priest or priestess to stop the attacks. In Halt here are over 1,000 listed Zombie possessions a year. For a poor society with few medical doctors the Voodoo priest also acts as doctor to the sick. So where do Zombies enter into this equation. Some Voodoo practitioners are aligned with the dark side. They produce a neurotic that kills you; then after a week or so a person comes back to life of a sort. The reanimated person has very limited mental functions and basically becomes a servant to someone being capable of menial tasks.
In Haiti there are approximately 1000 charges of relatives becoming zombies registered with the police. In 1997 there was a medical study in the Lancet journal concerning three people that were Identified as zombies after they had passed away. Their relatives insisted these two women and a man were family members who had died years before. The two doctors did full medical examinations Including Eggs and CT brain scans. Two of the three were Identified as cases of mistaken identity by finger prints and DNA testing. The three individuals were found to not be zombies but people with medical problems.
One was catatonic schizophrenia, one was found to have serious brain damage due to epilepsy and the hire was probably related to fetal alcohol poisoning. (Foot note to a medical study of the Haitian zombie). The first pictures of a Zombie were taken by Zorn Neal Hurst in her 1938 book Voodoo Gods. The neurotic was identified by Anthropologist Wade Davis as a neurotic found in puffer fish. Other powders that were identified had several different substances In them Including puffer fish toxin and toxins from various tree frogs.
Over time the compliant Zombie concept has evolved Into one where the ravenous zombie who has a taste for brains, welcome to Hollywood or Holly weird. Zombies eave Joined the fascination with various other undead characters like mummies, skeletons, ghouls, and vampires (footnote to the American Fascination article). Breaks. Some like the Resident Evil series are science experiments gone wrong, and with each new movie the Zombies have new attributes to make them scarier. They are bigger or stronger or smarter.
Then World War Z has the dreaded fast zombie which means there is no escape. We all have seen the tee shirt . The movie Firefly puts Zombies in Outer Space in the future. The basis for all these were governments doing hidden experimentations that got away from the guards. Who isn’t scared of a government who wants to control their constituents? Also another new factor is the Zombie who can organize and their primary purpose is to remove humans from existence, such as in the Will Smith movie I Am Legend.
So society breaks down and the army is not there to save you, it is very much a run and hide universe; where you have to save yourself. The television show The Walking Dead shows how Americans love to be scared while at the same time want a chance to escape or fight the opponents. But Combinable shows that the Zombie apocalypse movie can also have a sense of humor. But the primary reason for Zombie movies is worldwide people like to be scared, and generally by something they know realistically really cannot exist.
So you can be scared but have no real problem with sleepless nights. So what are the two scariest things about zombie evolution? The fast Zombies climbing over the Jerusalem walls in World War Z, and animals becoming Zombies like those Doberman Pincher’s in I Am Legend. Speed kills and then animals can also become Zombies. So from my anthropological perspective I see the Undead are evolving, at least in Hollywood. I wonder what Darwin would think of Zombies. I chose this Blob because I enjoy Zombie movies though I am not really interested in being part of the Zombie apocalypse.
You run out of food, gas, ammunition, and toilet paper none of which seems like a lot of fun to me. Also it is interesting to me that studying Zombies is a subject that anthropologists have been interested in for close to 100 years. At some colleges you can take a class (foot note to that sheet on Anthropology 3313 about Zombies). But something to remember is how much a small, very poor country like Haiti is responsible with having a lot of influence on the US movie industry. Which has spread over the globe.
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