Lurking in Castle Moats
oh we got a ranter/expert here guys*gets gear*
ok now I'm ready to go against ya
Lets start with the Eastern Dragon bit...
Do you know of Yinglong...its a Chinese dragon....but oh wait...it has wings cause to them when a dragon reach a certain age it gets wings so there is winged Oriental dragons.
ALSO the amount of fingers varies between the eastern regions sometimes but many notice this.
Yes I know of the Ranking of Eastern dragons as five toed dragons being god dragons.
Horns, there are also hornless Dragons in the mythos again thanks to the oriental dragons, as western tend to make it almost standard.
The beliefs, Yes I know of those religions that are deep with the dragons, hence why I dont touch their dragons to respect them but off shoot my own that doesnt exist.
Localization-now dont bs me on blaming Americans, luckly I was raised partially by my british god mother who love dragons, thus grew to love them too. As I grew up I began studing other dragons but the Oriental are my new favorite. You can blame Movies and Books made by people who dont know crap about them.
My sonas: 5 years....FIVE FUCKING YEARS, I will admit I was a generic Wolf when I started out, not cause it was cool but cause of how others saw me. I had a pack mentality they said, always looking out for others in that pack, defending them from harm. Over those fucking 5 years I went from generic Wolf to what I am now a sick combination of my Wolf mentality and my love for oriental dragons. My Alt Folseh was also a Sick combination of information of both Western and Oriental thus doesnt follow any mythos since she cannot be associated with either.
I am also sick of generic sonas but then again like my research shows, Over time one begins to research and start developing a true sona for themselves. *takes off gear* you may call me a bitch back too, for I'm the type who also research, but dont join a specific group.
First of all, don't start taking this personally. Don't start Rping here. Also I'm no professional Ranter and this is not ranting. I am simply offering my opinions and knowledge.
I was talking about eastern dragons by default. Not specifically Oriental ones, which are a subsect and you have to be careful because a lot of oriental stuff is wrong because of western influence that changes it for the sake of making money.
Eastern Dragons encomposs more than Japan and China. By default when you look at them they do not have wings because part of the combined mythos is that they don't need them. It is safe to say 97 percent of all eastern dragons are wingless. So a few minor exceptions aside, if you are going for "Eastern Dragon" you go for the wingless look. That is how, it is by default, that is what characterizes it. Also early early early on a few of the ancient dragons were given wings but, that was changed over to being wingless due to the association of them being gods, or demi-gods. In fact there was some speculation that they carried a specific item that helped them in flight.
Actually the finger deals more with symbology(which is where I was going with it) and goes deeper than what you are bringing up. For example: Only the emperor was allowed to wear, own, or use an item with a dragon depicted on it that had 5 fingers because it symbolized the emperor, and emperor dragons/god dragons.
The consorts, and or people directly associated with the Emperor were allowed 4 fingered depictions.
The 3 fingered dragon was allowed for everyone else. If you were caught using the 5 fingered depiction when you are not the Emperor, the punishment would be torture and death. If you were caught using the 4 fingered depiction when you are not associated with the emperor, the punishment could be the same.
Actually I am going to partly blame Americans. Most of what I have seen done of dragons that is complete and utter trash, was done by Americans. That is the problem with trying to collect dragon things in America because most of the makers don't do their research. I mean, they think Wyyvern equals dragon....it's like WTF? I mean the people who sell dragons in America for money, tend to commercialize the hell out of it, so the mythos gets shoved aside for making it "Look cool." That is part of the reason I sort of stopped collecting. There is this explotion of complete crap.
Also many kids have grown up with things such as Dungeons and Dragons, Video-games and so forth....and it has watered down their ability to a great extent to indentify with the original mythos. I am an American...so no one jump on my for calling out on my own people. I am only saying it is what it is. I was part of a Military family at one time and we did a lot of jumping about. The only person I ever came across who knew anything about anything about dragons was archeologist.....who travels the world. So I was left finding every scrap of book I could come across at every bookstore and every library trying to see what dragon was in all the different cultures. It was due to that deep interest that I developed an affinity to a theory behind the dragon(and mythological critters in general), dealing with distribution of fossilized bones, and comparing those creatures to the different dragon archetypes out there. In a Nutshell, the dragon might have been the attempt of humanity to understand dinosaur bones before they understood things go extinct. They would have recreated in their mind what these bones would look like, leading to many mythologies that people either used to, or still believe in.
Back on topic though, it takes a person with either a upbringing that introduces the real mythos around it, or a deep keen interest from the start, to be able to produce or recognize anything half way decent that is of course for the majority. You do have a small minority that have neither but somehow manage to avoid being made stupid about mythology.
About the hornless thing. By default dragons have horns, both east and west. The assocation with the hornless dragon was originally due to a misassociation with Crocodiles as dragons. However early on when crocodiles became a problem, the Chinese declared them not dragons. With that, most known depictions at that time of hornless dragons dropped off to favoring the horned variety. That is because the mindset changed...where if the critter was not horned it was not really a dragon. This ties into how Crocodiles one has protection because they were at one time considered Dragons in a nutshell.
This day in age though if you again, are going to create a dragon, you should stick to certain defaults because it prevents abuse.
I say that because if you want to preserve the meaning of what the mythos is, you have to require people to stick to certain defaults. Otherwise people will take advantage (and they already do) of being able to let a few things go, and it will water down the entire thing, making it generic, and pointless.
If you allow people to sit there and pick out those very few minute instances where defaults are ignored in deep history as an excuse, you can end up with people forcing anything and everything reptiallian to be dragon while paying no attention to mythos at all. (Now this is less about fursonas and more about dragon art in general)
This is why I say, certian things. Such as Eastern Dragons should not or never have wings. Dragons in general should not or never be hornless. That is because I have seen what allowing people to nit-pick at extreme minorities in history has turned the entire thing into.
There are exceptions....and no one has any business acting on them, unless they have OMG skills to pull it off and show they know what they are doing.
For the rest of you thinking this is going to be some great argument, don't expect much, okay? This probably should be taken into the PM's but oh well. Also, no one will win. This is the internet. You don't win here.
To the last bit.....furries tend to start out with generic fursonas. If they take the time they can change that to having something a little less generic. That take patience, creativity and research that not a lot of furs are willing to do.
If that Alt, that I think you linked earlier is what you are referring to as a mix between the two, I'm going to have to be blatently honest. I don't see any themes at all from East or West. I see a lizard with a huge head of hair...that is it. Maybe that just isn't a good example of the charrie.
Anyway, it is true that over time people develope their characters. They do research but that doesn't stop people from sticking with generic and over used because they are too lazy. One last thing, something else that bugs me at least about over used personas is that people use them as an excuse to act a way online that they are not in real life.
Example: Person has low self esteem, bad social issues and so forth. Becomes a furrie and uses a dragon as the fursona to make himself or herself feel strong, and special, and powerful, and then bully others, or get arrogent or prideful because "I'm a dragon, rawr, don't mess with me." I've actually come across a pathetic dragon "otherkin" group that are all social rejects that use the dragon to try to make themselves seem bigger and more important than they really are.
The way I look at it, it's pathetic. Hiding behind something to give yourself certain social attributes that you do not really have, is foolish, and silly. If you are not social and protective of your friends, don't call yourself a wolf. Then again, not all people think that far when decided what their persona will be. That's just a difference in opinions. I think if people spent more time choosing what reflects them and less time choosing what is cool to them, we would have less fo an issue with overused fursonas.