Friday, March 01, 2013

Virtual Vulture Festival 2013!

From humble origins in a small train station ...
Came the renowned and highly original
Dedicated to the most fantastic and singular bird,
The vulture!

With its kicky motto
A festival was born.

This unparalleled event not only celebrated the visitation of hundreds of vultures to a small New Jersey hamlet,
It also raised thousands of dollars for nature clubs, children's education, and otherwise sprucing up the wild spots in the town!

The festival reached its apex of popularity around 2009, with sacred vulture dances
(featuring our friend the Monkey Man, second from right...)

And a fan favorite at every festival was the peerless mascot, Buzzy!
The people attending the festival thought Buzzy was just a cute, big bird. But underneath all that paper mache and layers of old polyester was a Shaman who felt it her religious duty to don the attire of the Sacred Thunderbird.

Of course, this sense of the sacred did not detract from the fun.

Worship of the Sacred Thunderbird spans history and cultures in the Eastern and Western Hemispheres. An archeological excavation 10,000 years old revealed that the Zawi Chami people of what is now Iraq dressed in vulture feathers for their rituals. In ancient Egypt, Vulture guarded the Pharaoh's children, and the bored Goddess Maat is pictured with the wings of a vulture.
In both African and Native American traditions, Vulture has interceded on behalf of the human race during times when the Gods were angry. The Goddess Oshun was said to have taken the shape of a vulture and flown toward the sun to end a famine.

But back to being silly:

It's doubtful that this raccoon will get well. What's more likely is that, before it starts stinking up the joint, a kindly and gentle vulture (or several) will dispose of it by eating it right down to the bones. Let's celebrate this wise custodianship of our planet!
I love faeries
and the Monkey Man
and those Pillsbury hot rolls with the orange icing.

I love drumming
and Polish Mountain
and cats that look like Hitler.

I love parades
and puns
and the art work of Thalia Took
But most of all, I love vultures. This is no recent thing, readers. I've loved vultures my whole life.
Whether whimsical like Floppy
Or spooky like my good friend Clem,

Vultures are the best the world has to offer.

If you see one this weekend, give it a howdy and a hearty handshake. If anyone stares, who the hell cares?


Artwork by ancient Egyptians, unknown hillbillies, and Thalia Took; some buzzard photos by Bird Chick and Shelly Castorino.


Moma Fauna said...

Oh, snap! I forgot to send you a photo of those Utah birds I love to love so well. :/
Ah well, next year maybe I will keep my dates straight. Thanks for a joyous celebration. :)

Debra She Who Seeks said...

All hail the Sacred Thunderbird and its sacred representative Buzzy! "Look alive," LOL! Fabulous virtual festival, Anne!

But 2 points I feel compelled to mention:

(1) Whoever tied that "get well" balloon on that poor roadkill raccoon has one sick sense of humour! I like that in a person.

(2) Just FYI, cats who look like Hitler are called "kitlers."


I will never be able to think of a vulture without thinking of you..well you and Teresa.

Maebius said...

I have to admit, you've made me a convert too, since meeting you, Anne. :D
I used to like the buzzards in PA soaring on thermals, more for a general zen-like calm to watch.
Now, they have that too, of course, but also just an added sort of affection for the Sacred. Thanks!