He printed millions of unicorn bills on bright blue paper, which he generously gave to islanders in exchange for a little food and booze. But he and his buddies also kept millions more stashed away. Their plan was to wait until unicorns became a widely accepted currency, and then they would use their stash to buy things from the islanders -- their huts, farming fields and coconut groves, their canoes, their lamborghinis In other words, those fellas planned to steal from the inslanders -- like governments do, when they print more money to balance their budget. In both cases, the theft would be diffused in space and time, so no one could point out exactly who were the victims, and when their wealth was taken away.
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With the difference, of course, that governments are supposed to return what they steal to their victims, in the form of services; whereas the gang intended to keep the loot for themselves. That plan was bad enough, but since it was taking too long, the impatient gang devised another scam-within-the-scam to steal even more, much sooner. They placed a big iron pot in a clearing at the center of the island; and told everybody that it was a magic cauldron, that would multiply any unicorns that were placed in there. They attached to the side of the pot a blue sheet with the Rules of the Cauldron, and a list of Shamans by its side.
The Rules were written in some obscure legalese, but the gang explained that, once the cauldron was filled with unicorns, and the full Moon was directly overhead, everybody could vote for which Shamans those unicorns should be given to. Each Shaman would then do some magic that would multiply the bills, which would be given back to the contributors.
Many islanders went crazy about that thing.
Unicorn Seal -2, Harappan Civilization, C- 2700-2000 BC
They rushed to get more unicorns from the gang, just to throw them into the cauldron. Some sold their their bows and arrows and fishnets, their iPhones and Toyotas, and all the cowrie shells that they had buried under their birdbaths. Some islanders were skeptical at first, but went "all in" after the gang leader told them that the Rules of the Cauldron had been carefully verified by the best legal experts in the world, and swore that they would be followed to the letter, no matter what.
They could be sure of that, he explained, because the Rules sheet had a seal with a picture of the Invisible Blue Unicorn on it; and that meant that, if those Rules were broken, all unicorn bills would instantly become worthless. Who would want that to happen?
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No one noticed that the Rules did not actually require the Shamans to do any magic whatsoever after taking out the unicorns; much less to give anything back to the contributors. And the first Shamans on the list, of course, were the gang members themselves. But then one of the islanders, who had studied law at Oxford, managed to decipher the Rules. He noticed one, in particular, that said that anyone who did three little hops on one leg, and then uttered the magic word "Niretub", could take all the unicorns in the pot for himself, without waiting for the full Moon.
He told that to his fellow islanders, and queried the gang about it. The gang leader then realized that his command of legalese was not as good as he had thought. Enlightening post,as always :. Although i don't think i have much to comment because we already had a FB conversation regarding this. Btw i would add that Persian and Babylonian reliefs have depiction of the same animal even after over a years of ISC collapse! Giacomo, a very interesting post.
Myths are important and I think that Nilgal the origin of indian unicorn. There is the problem of the single horn: well, among a wild population of antelopes the record of a single animal with only one horn in the middle of the head can be deeply sited in the memory of a population, remaining there for centuries. So, the best explaination can be a genetic mutation in a single animal.
The unicorn seal, is the most rapresented animal in all the archeological sites excavated since now in indus valley. This fact indicate that sure this animal was important in the culture of these our ancestors. The most logical, evident and scientific also explication can be the fact that in these seals and also terracotta figurines is rapresented an extint animal, the Elasmotherium.
Pheraphs the Elasmotherium when the indus valley culture was quite extingued, but it may be that in certain isolated habitat, valley or mountains some kind of elasmotherium, really where in good healt and alive! Ctesia spoke about unicorn, and not only him. I think personally that the myth of the unicon, had his roots in this ancient animal. Pheraphs the umans of the indus valley, had seen this animal along the rivers Perhaps the hunting for these ragion may have caused definitly the extintion.
Sorry to differ, but that Indus Seal shows a Black Buck as clear as daylight, though your research on another animal - Neel Gai different horn structure was admirable. Pls refer Google Images of Black Buck's ringed horns with spiral curvature. I am purposely not delving into unicorn's existence as it is not related to Indus civilization or even Indian cultural landscape.
Thank you for you comment, Mohit Lohani, I agree that the horn of the nilgai is different from that of the 'unicorn', but also that of the blackbuck, which is 'wavy' but not curved like the Indus unicorn. I think that the horn is imaginary, but the rest of the body is more similar to the nilgai than to the blackbuck, that is smaller and thinner, more like a goat than a cow. There must have been animals with single horn during the ancient times The originating artist got quite creative and probably decided that one horn would Do The Job. Search the Internet for color photos of Chiru Bucks - compare them to the Seals and then stop this Speculation about a Unicorn.
Satyameva Jayate OK! The animal on the Indus seal might be an Aurochs the ancient ancestor of the modern cattle. It is quite possible that the two distinct cattle types existed side by side in the Indus Civilization times, there ranges might have overlapped. Also, cattle domestication in the Indian subcontinent began near the same area, precisely during the Mehrgadh Civilization now in Pakistani Balouchistan , with the Zebu variety being primarily domesticated, the European variants might have existed as isolated, wild herds here and there.
This rareness might have made them prized. Notice that, the animal depicted on the seal resembles a bull, but without a dewlap unlike the Indian Zebu , and the horns are long and shaped much like an Aurochs. Both the Nilgai or the Black buck would have been common animals, the rarity of the wild Aurochs might have made it special. The animal on the seal definitely has a bull - like shape, but the peculiar shape of the horn is close enough to that of an Aurochs.
The Indian subspecies of the Aurochs had much of its home range around the area of the Indus Civilization also, Indian domestication of the wild Aurochs started in the area of present - day Pakistani Balouchestan - read Mehrgarh civilization. The animal depicted might have been the wilder version, that may have been caught for some ceremonial purposes. You are right. The face,tail and body of this animal looks very much like a bull.
What appears to be wrinkles on the neck could be it's hair. The face is smaller than rest of the body which appears to be big and muscular with a long tail. I think a nilgai doesn't have this long tail. The inverted heart shaped harness on it's shoulders shows that this animal could have been tied to a cart or used for riding. Sorry but the face and head is not of a bull, is too thin, like that of the Nilgai, which also has a fairly long tail, although in most images not clearly visible.
Unicorn Seal & Send Camp Stationery
Of course we cannot expect a perfect depiction, and apparently there was the tendency to imitate the more familiar bull. As to the inverted heart, I don't think there is a harness with that shape, moreover there is no cart or yoke, it appears to depict wrinkles, maybe with some symbolic meaning since it is regularly repeated.
About the Chiru or Tibetan antelope, dear Pt. Lalan Kasyap, I admit that the horn has some similarity, but I have not found the inverted heart on that animal. Such wrinkles appear on the skin like that of the nilgai, not on the fur of the chiru.
Kenoyer , in his lectures, constantly remarks that this "unicorn" was a symbol of an elite possibly opressive that dissapeared before Late Harappan times in Indus valley.