Who's that Pokemon (based on)? Oct 4, 2010 21:37:23 GMT -5
Post by The Qu on Oct 4, 2010 21:37:23 GMT -5
Monmen & Erufuun
This one is deceptively complicated. One might look at Monmen and think, "It's just a cotton spore/ball, ergo Erufuun is a cotten plant." Well, that is true, but in a roundabout way.
In the Middle Ages, folks didn't know where cotton came from. I'm not exactly sure when the legends about the following sprang up, but by the mid 1400s the legend of the Vegetable Lamb of Tartary existed. It all began- as far as I can tell- when Sir John Mandeville wrote a book of travels, similar to Marco Polo's (Or Gullivar's Travels, considering the contents, but I digress). In it, he talked shortly of a strange plant that grew in Tartary, an area of Asia, that when cut, revealed flesh similar to that of a lamb.
Over the centuries, more were added to the legend. Some said the lamb resembled a true lamb, and was a fruit hanging in the air, suspended by a umbilical cord-like stem. Other said that its blood was sweet, like honey. Outright hoaxes were created, using a fern now called the Cibotium barometz, Barometz being another name for the Vegetable Lamb. When the C. barometz is prepared and inverted, it can resemble the descriptions of a vegetable lamb, as seen here. This is kinda comparable to a botanical equivalent to a Fiji Mermaid, or a Jenny Haniver, longstanding hoaxes using animal carcasses. In fact, Wikipedia has it as one of three entries under the Botanical Cryptids template, alongside man-eating trees and a nasty tree called Umdhlebi.
The Vegetable Lamb lives on as a reminder of how silly Medievil bestiaries could be, cropping up from time to time in modern collections of fancifal animals, such as Jorge Luis Borges' astounding Book of Imaginary Beings, in which the inspirations for a few other Pokemon are also included. I'll probably end up referencing back to this book again if I keep doing these.
So, in short, Erufuun is based on an explanation for the source of cotton. But in typical Pokemon fashion, it uses exaggerated characteristics and folklore to make it more interesting.
EDIT: Here'san article on the excellent Museum of Hoaxes site about Mndeville, including an early depiction of the lamb. Strange stuff indeed.