An Islamic Broxa
|Type||Giant Bats, Chupacabra|
|First Sighting||570 AD|
|Habitat||Deserts and Rural Villages|
The history of the middle east contains strange stories of vampiric birds known as Broxa, which drank the bodily fluids from goats and sometimes human blood, similar to the Chupacabra (lit. "goat sucker"). A race of monstrous birds or winged creatures are mentioned in the Quran, described as protecting Mecca from the Yemen army by dropping red clay bricks on the Yemen elephants as they approached. This was, according to the Quran, done so in 571, the year that the Muslim prophet Muhammed was born. In Jewish folklore Broxa is a bird that is said to suck the milk of goats and sometimes human blood during the night. The Broxa was considered in the Middle Ages to be a shape shifting entity-as a witch in female form and in male form, a demon.
Chupacabra and Bat Like Characteristics
According to legend, these nocturnal beasts slipped silently from the night sky to feed on goat’s milk, but sometime in the Middle Ages these once gentle creatures developed a far more sinister appetite.
Much like the Bar Junche, the tales of the Broxa of been handed down to us from generations of Jewish folklore. Considered to be a primarily nocturnal bird-like beast, these creatures were known for siphoning the milk from goats during their night time feeding frenzies.
In the Middle Ages, however, accounts of the Broxa took an ominous turn, when eyewitnesses claimed that these animals were no longer content to feed on warm goat’s milk, but that they had developed a vampire-like taste for blood. These witnesses claimed the Broxa now was more akin to demons, then birds. It was also reported that these animals — no longer content with goat’s blood – had taken to drinking the blood of infants while lying in their cribs.
These accounts of this creature’s beastly appearance and carnivorous appetites would seem to be the manner in which one would describe a “bat” if he or she were unfamiliar with the creature. Maybe the Broxa is really a monstrous bat-like beast akin to the Indonesian Orang-Bati or the Cameroon’s Olitiaiu.
The report also harkens back to original South American descriptions of the Chupacabra. Before the beast transformed into the many canine-like creature that is now said to stalk the borderlands between the United States and Mexico, it was described as a ferocious looking chimera with quasi-reptilian skin, insect-like eyes, kangaroo coiled legs and, often, bat-like wings. Perhaps the Broxa is the Middle Eastern equivalent of the notorious “goat sucker.”
Hamah and Pre-Islam
"Before Islam, Arabs believed that the predatory bird hâmah or the owl had a very bad omen. If such a bird dies near someone’s house, the house’s owner should expect that one of the residents will die. In addition, Arabs believed that the bones of the deceased or their souls would turn later into predatory birds as one way of incarnation; as a result, the Prophet emphasized the falsity of the mythical basis of such a belief…Until this day, the owl is viewed as a bad omen by many Arabs. In addition, the hâmah was believed to be a worm leaving a man’s skull if he was killed without being avenged. It would circle around the man’s tomb saying: ‘water me’, asking for vengeance. Jews in Arabia used to think that the hâmah would circle round a man’s tomb for seven days before departing..." (Al-Rawi, 2009, p59).
Arabian mythology is the ancient, pre-Islamic beliefs of the Arab people. Prior to Islam the Kaaba of Mecca was covered in symbols representing the myriad demons, djinn, demigods, or simply tribal gods and other assorted deities which represented the polytheistic culture of pre-Islamic Arabia. It has been inferred from this plurality an exceptionally broad context in which mythology could flourish. Many of the physical descriptions of the pre-Islamic gods are traced to idols, especially near the Kaaba, which is asserted to have contained up to 360.