The Dufflepuds are real!

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The Dufflepuds are real!

Postby Reepi » Jun 12, 2012 3:21 am

Well, not real entirely, but the Dufflepuds were something I have assumed were Lewis' creation, but as it turns out those too are just based on mythology. Even described as "dwarf-like", just how Lewis described them, they are also most often referred to just as "Monopods", as they are also in VotDT.

And if you remember the bit about them lying on the backs and using their giant foot as an umbrella, this picture from 1493 should ring some bells:

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What do you think?
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Re: The Dufflepuds are real!

Postby DiGoRyKiRkE » Jun 12, 2012 4:43 am

That is really fascinating, Reepi! Did you find anything about their mythology?
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Re: The Dufflepuds are real!

Postby Reepi » Jun 13, 2012 7:03 am

I did stumble upon a wikipedia about it: Notable they are also mentioned by Pliny in something called Naturalis Historia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monopod_%28creature%29
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Re: The Dufflepuds are real!

Postby MinotaurforAslan » Jun 13, 2012 6:29 pm

Interesting connection, Reepi. The picture reminds me of an illustration I would see for Marco Polo's travels.
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Re: The Dufflepuds are real!

Postby Narnian_Archer » Jun 14, 2012 10:41 pm

Very interesting - I had no idea they were actually in mythology! Very cool!!
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Re: The Dufflepuds are real!

Postby coracle » Jun 15, 2012 12:52 am

Wow, but when you think about LWW and PC and how many mythological creatures Lewis chose to put in his world, it isn't such a surprise.

There used to be old travellers' tales, and legends of what sailors had seen at the ends of the earth.... some of the creatures found in VDT reflect these.
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Re: The Dufflepuds are real!

Postby Lion's Emblem » Jun 15, 2012 4:17 pm

Good find Reepi. I never thought the monopods were actually from myth, I just assumed they were part of CS Lewis' creation. Oh well- it's still fascinating.
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Re: The Dufflepuds are real!

Postby Lilygloves » Jun 27, 2012 3:01 pm

Oh wow, that's very interesting. I had assumed that Lewis invented the idea of monopods. I was actually sort of disappointed in the movie that they did not explain that the dufflepuds used to be dwarves that were "uglified". For some reason, it seemed important to me for them to mention that to show that Lewis created them, but I guess he didn't.
So as far as I can recall, Marshwiggles are the only creatures in Narnia that are purely from Lewis's imagination, correct?
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Re: The Dufflepuds are real!

Postby 7chronicles » Jul 08, 2012 12:04 am

I learned about this a few years ago while researching Mythological Creatures! :p
And I thought it was so funny!
Its always fun to see where certain people may have gotten their inspiration from! :)
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The Value of myth is that it takes all the things you know and restores to them the rich significance which has been hidden by the veil of familiarity. C.S. Lewis
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Re: The Dufflepuds are real!

Postby wolfloversk » Jul 09, 2012 12:48 am

This is interesting... I too thought they were just something he made up. I'll have to look into this more now. Thanks for the find Reepi!

I wonder what other "obscure" myths Lewis may have drawn from?
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Re: The Dufflepuds are real!

Postby Narnian_Badger » Jul 09, 2012 7:07 pm

Ah, yes. ;)) I once got it into my head that I wanted to study myths (with a focus in Greek) rather extensively one year, and had a good giggle when I found the monopods (and then had to show it to everyone in the house!). :P Personally, I think the Dufflepods are even more interesting since they were inspired by an old myth... makes them seem more real, somehow.
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Re: The Dufflepuds are real!

Postby Varnafinde » Jul 10, 2012 2:47 pm

It's funny to see even more sources Lewis used for his world. He really mixed together creatures from different mythologies - dwarfs from Norse mythology, Fauns, Satyrs, Centaurs and even Bacchus from Greek and Roman mythology, Father Christmas from what you might call Christian mythology - and now this!

I hadn't heard about it before reading it here. Good find!
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Re: The Dufflepuds are real!

Postby Ithilwen » Jul 10, 2012 5:00 pm

What a fascinating find! :-o I'm surprised we haven't heard of this before.

It's interesting that the myth concerning Monopods isn't more well-known. Mythology is such a popular subject, and everyone seems to know about centaurs, dwarves, minotaurs, and the like. But not too many people seem to know about Monopods. I bet a lot of people - even outside NarniaWeb - assumed it was Lewis's own creation. ;))


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Re: The Dufflepuds are real!

Postby Dinode » Jul 12, 2012 8:43 pm

Well, there wasn't a whole lot on them in the Wikipedia article, apparently there weren't many legends about them. Lewis's portrayal of them takes up half of the page. I had thought he had invented them too, oh well.
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Re: The Dufflepuds are real!

Postby wild rose » Jul 13, 2012 5:20 am

Wow, I didn't know that, that is so neat. I guess I shouldn't be so suprised though, Lewis borrowed a lot from mythology, most of his creatures (that are not animals) are taken from mythology. But it is an interesting discovery, cause I, like so many others, was sure that he had made them up himself :)
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Re: The Dufflepuds are real!

Postby Movie Aristotle » Jul 14, 2012 12:58 pm

Pliny wrote:He [Ctesias] speaks also of another race of men, who are known as Monocoli, who have only one leg, but are able to leap with surprising agility. The same people are also called Sciapodae, because they are in the habit of lying on their backs, during the time of the extreme heat, and protect themselves from the sun by the shade of their feet.


That sounds like it came straight out of Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Reading these sorts of things just reminds me of how well read Lewis must have been. Bringing back an obscure mythological species and making them as memorable as he did was a stroke of genius.
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