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In China, the bat is a symbol of good luck and happiness. This is probably because the word for bat, “fu” sounds like the word for happines. The Chinese god of happiness is called Fu-xing; he is often represented by a bat and in human form he has bats embroidered on his robes. Five bats together symbolize the 5 blessings of health, long life, wealth, love of virtue and a good death. Some people believed the bat had a very heavy brain that forced it to roost upside down. Bats were sometimes used as ingredients of aphrodisiacs.
The Maya regarded the bat as a creature of the Underworld and of death. They called it ‘he who tears off heads’ and depicted it with the empty eyes of a skull. The ‘House of the Bat’ was one of the regions that had to be crossed to reach the Land of Death. The Tupinamba believe a bat will swallow the sun at the ending of the world. The Zotzil tribes revere Zotz, the bat-god of caves, as their patron.
The Zuni considered the bat to be a harbringer of rain. The Chami Indians of Colombia thought the vampire bat had the power to put its victims to sleep.

Read the original article at: dierinbeeld

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