Brownielocks and The 3 Bears

The Incredible, But Not Always Edible Egg!

In some folklore, It's taboo!

The Aborigines believe that  this is how the world began: 

A long time ago during The Dreamtime, a fisherman found an egg lying on the beach. Because he was hungry, he went to cook the egg, but as soon as he put it into the fire a terrible storm began and rain fell and fell and fell. Then, this egg cracked open and out of it poured even more water, creating oceans and waters, plus the mountains, rainbows, sun, moons and stars. These all gushed forth like a roaring river and washed the Dreamtime away. 

Many interpret this was really a giant rainbow in the sky.  The rainbow's arch was the upper half of a huge, cosmic egg. The setting sun was the yolk, dripping away. The rest of the egg was in the earth below the horizon.  

Now, the Egyptians feel that the universe was once a big giant egg, which they call "the essence of the divine apes".  They believed that the sun was the yolk and the galaxy was the egg white in which we all drift.

The pre-Buddhist Bon cult in Tibet believed that the world was nothing more than a big egg with 18 layers.  This idea is expressed in the egg-shaped Buddhist temples throughout the Himalayas.

The Orphic cult in Greece literally banned the eating of eggs around 600 B.C.

The Koreans claim their first king came from a mysterious red egg that was left by a flying horse.

Why not eat the eggs back then?  Basically, they felt that eggs were the ultimate food of fertility and virility given from the Gods to man.  In an area near the Chinese/Indian border, if a woman offered an egg to a man it was considered a proposal of marriage.  

Keeping with the belief that eggs were fertility symbols, German farmers in ancient times smeared eggs on their plows to ensure fertile fields.  Colored eggs are considered powerful and are tossed into the laps of women who want to become pregnant.  Some feel that this idea of colored eggs is how painting eggs as Easter began.   The colored egg concept is also believed to be a part of the story above regarding the rainbow colors of the huge, cosmic egg.

Not all cultures believed that eggs meant fertility, however.  In many African cultures, they had strong rules against egg eating, especially for women.  In the old days, Ethiopian women were enslaved if they were caught eating eggs.  The Yaka people in the Congo believed that a woman who ate an omelet would lose her mind.  In fact, some of these old beliefs still remain today.  In a 1974 study in rural South Carolina, it showed that 3% of women believed that it was bad luck for a pregnant woman to eat an egg.

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Source: "In The Devil's Garden. A Sinful History of Forbidden Food"
By Stewart Lee Allen
Ballantine Publishing Group © 2002

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