Frog - Cultural Beliefs

Cultural Beliefs

For more details on this topic, see Frogs in popular culture.

Frogs feature prominently in folklore, fairy tales and popular culture. They tend to be portrayed as benign, ugly and clumsy but with hidden talents. Examples include Michigan J. Frog, The Frog Prince and Kermit the Frog. The Warner Brothers cartoon One Froggy Evening features Michigan J. Frog who will only dance and sing for the demolition worker who opens his time capsule but will not perform in public. "The Frog Prince" is a fairy tale about a frog that turns into a handsome prince after he has rescued a princess's golden ball and she has taken him into her palace. Kermit the Frog is a conscientious and disciplined character from The Muppet Show and Sesame Street; while openly friendly and greatly talented, he is often portrayed as cringing at the fanciful behavior of more flamboyant characters.

Toads have a more sinister reputation. It was believed in European folklore that they were associated with witches as their familiar spirits and had magical powers. The toxic secretion from their skin was used in brewing evil potions but was also put to use to create magical cures for human and livestock ailments. They were associated with the devil and in John Milton's "Paradise Lost", Satan was depicted as a toad pouring poison into Eve's ear.

The Moche people of ancient Peru worshipped animals and often depicted frogs in their art. In Panama, local legend held that good fortune would come to anyone who spotted a Panamanian golden frog. Some believed that when one of these frogs died, it would turn into a golden talisman known as a huaca. Today, despite being extinct in the wild, Panamanian golden frogs remain an important cultural symbol and can be found on decorative cloth molas made by the Kuna people. The also appear as part of the inlaid design on a new overpass in Panama City, on T-shirts and even on lottery tickets.

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Famous quotes containing the words cultural and/or beliefs:

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