Friday, November 8, 2013

Friday Fun: Zombie Origins...puffer fish, shaman, and possession. #brains

To celebrate the pre-campaign launch of our author Ryan Hill's awesome novel Dead New World, we are exploring the undead...  Not the blood-drinking kind--though, of course, they are awesome too--the brain-eating, skin-peeling, moan-and-groan kind...

Where did zombies get their start?

The word zombie is believed to come from the Kongo word for soul, nzambi, which crossed the ocean to Haiti, along with African slaves, to become the Haitian word zombi, which means "spirit of the dead." 

In the Haitian vodou culture, they believe the soul of a person who died unnaturally can be awakened by a bokor or sorcerer, using a powder, to help with healing magic, or to be used as undead slave labor. Some researchers have claimed that the powder the bokor use is actually tetrodotoxin, the paralytic neurotoxin obtained from puffer fish.

In some South African cultures, they believe a small child can turn a person into a zombie, and only a powerful sangoma (shaman/healer) can break the spell. In other South African cultures, it's believed a witch can turn a person into a zombie by killing and possessing their body.

In popular culture, George A Romero's movie The Night of the Living Dead--partially inspired by the book I Am Legend--was the start of the zombie fandom, even though the term zombie was never mentioned in the movie--fans started using it later on.

Why do zombies eat brains?

It started in the film The Return of the Living Dead. In the movie, zombies could feel the pain of being dead and decomposing, and the endorphins in the brain numbed that pain.

Wanna see some zombies? Heck yes you do! ;) The official Kickstarter campaign begins on 14 November!

For more information on Definition House and our crowdfunding model, check out our FAQs.

Mmm, brainz!


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