From whence arrived the praying mantis?
From outer space, or lost Atlantis?
I glimpse the grim, green metal mug
That masks this pseudo-saintly bug,
Orthopterous, also carnivorous,
And faintly whisper, Lord deliver us.
Campamocha is Spanish for Praying Mantis. I like the word.
After researching this insect, I feel facts and symbolic connections are a bit out of synch. It may be that the symbolic associations are purely visual. I must say though it’s one odd-looking bug. It’s a cousin to the termite and maybe a prototype of the cockroach.
A little more…
- mantises have compound eyes that give them a binocular field of vision
- their one ear is on the underside of the belly (similar to a cricket if I recall correctly)
- its neck is flexible and rotates 180 degrees
- life span is about 10-12 months
- spiked forelegs help them hold prey securely
- it’s considered a predator
- it’s a carnivore
- they can fly (they can?!)
In terms of symbology …
- mantises blend with their environment and becomes invisible to enemies
- they teach us how to still the outer mind and go within
- the word Mantis is Greek for prophet or seer
- it is the oldest symbol of God.
…. could this be why we found this one staring at us from a bottle of wine….
Since I began working on this insect series I have received emails that include photos of exotic bugs, names and web sites of artists who depict bugs and many interesting reads. I know many of your favorite bugs : cute and ugly. I’ve been visited by a number of insects whom I’m sure wish their presence known (la campamocha en la botella de vino). All the bugs I drew made some personal connect via a friend or were direct. I appreciate it all. If we could learn to respect the smallest of life it would certainly be a better thing all the way around.
The most recent link I received reminded me of the Insect People from the Navajo Creation Myth: Insects in Art and Religion of the American Southwest.
… enjoy…the bugs.