boar

General - A fierce animal of the pig family, featured in many stories worldwide. (1) In China the boar is said to carry the sun for part of its journey across the heavens and is regarded as guardian of the northwest quadrant. (2) Several boars feature in Greek myths, notably the Calydonian boar, which was hunted down and slain by a group of heroes and heroines. The Erymanthian boar is another; it was hunted and captured by Heracles as his fourth Labour. (3) In Hinduism the boar is a source of cosmic power and appears as Vahara, the third avatar of Vishnu, and as the incarnation of various other deities, including Prajapati who, with his hundred arms, raised the earth. Another version says that the black boar Emusha raised the earth on its tusks. (4) Irish stories include the death of Dermot, slain by the boars that had earlier been charged to kill him. A boar owned by Brigit, daughter of the Dagda, was known as Orc (or Torc) Triath or Treithirne and is the equivalent of the Welsh Twrch Trwyth. (5) In Japan the boar was said to protect from snakes and was used as a sacrifice to the god Mi-Toshi. (6) In Malaysia a boar may be a man in disguise. (7) In Mesopotamian myths the boar is regarded as a messenger of the gods and is called Papsukal or Nin-shach. It became an accursed beast after killing Tammuz. (8) Norse myths include the story of Ottar who, in the form of a boar, was a lover of Freya who owned and rode a golden boar called Hildswm, and of her husband Frey who owned the golden boar, Gullinbursti, made by the dwarfs. In Valhalla the boar Saehrimnir was slain every day to provide food for the slain warriors, but was restored after each meal ready to provide the next. Slidrugtanni was a boar which drew Frey's chariot alongside Gullinbursti. (9) Persian mythology regards the boar as an incarnation of the god Verethragna and as the animal of Mithra. (10) In Syria the boar was regarded as a sacred animal. (11) In Welsh stories the quest of Culhwch involved the pursuit of the huge boar Twrch Trwyth, a king who had been turned into a boar for his sins. He had a litter of young boars, among them Banw, Benwig, Gwys, Llwydawg and Twrch Llawin. Also featuring in Culhwch's quest is the chief boar, Ysgithyrwyn, the tusk of which was required for shaving the giant Ysbadadden. In some accounts, called boar, pig or pig.

Nearby Myths