The Native American’s Devil Horned, Web Footed and Fish Finned, Feline King of Fishes!
Turns out, I bet you’ve seen the Underwater Panther in native american art. Personally I always thought it a dragon or demon or you know… a horned tiki stuck on a stegosaurus crossed with an armadon (or whatever that mace tailed dino was). But more important than it’s familiarity, is its purpose. It represented the natural counterbalance to the the forces above. It Possessed all the weaponry of the creatures of the deep and the cunning and grace of america’s greatest hunter. It’s easy to see how The underwater panther would rule the deep, in the same way the thunderbird ruled the sky.
For those of you who like to do a lil more research, there are a couple proper names often associated with the legend: Mishipeshu or Mishibijiw. And I’m pretty sure the Great Lynx legend is markedly similar. There are references to them being protective of copper deposits (kinda dragony again), causing storms and emitting a roar that sounds of rushing water. But you don’t need to know all that to draw it so…
Here’s what we know
- Has the muscular build and head of a great cat
- Sports some prominent horns, sometimes deery, most often bison like
- Has a crazy prehensile tail that often ends in spikes or fins or spiked fins
- it’s back is lined with godzilla like spikey plates or maybe dorsal fins
- Has great cat sized webbed paws
- Covered in scales, or sometimes feathers, or fur, or some combo thereof
- Rules over the creatures of the underworld, from spiders to snakes to fishes!
Our Judge this week is Peter Conlin, Scientist! He’s drawn before he’s won before, pretty probable he’s even judged before, so he knows his beasts! And he’s old school so he gave us 1st 2nd and 3rd! With that I give… Judgement!
1st place: The Underwater Panther Entry # 4
There is something undeniably majestic about the way this beast is gliding through the water. I also like how you added fins to lower wind resistance. And the racing stripes I feel are pretty sharp. First prize!
2nd place: The Underwater Panther Entry # 11
This one really captured the thunderbird rivalry! Clearly an epic struggle is about to ensue– cat vs. bird, water vs. air, neither beast is holding back… And yet, there’s a grudging respect there (see inset). The pictographs are a nice touch!
3rd place: The Underwater Panther Entry # 9
I like how this picture tells a story. A story that begins in exactly the same way as “The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep” but, I suspect, ends more like “Grizzly Man”.
So that’s it! Disagree if you must but know the judges word is law! And While the contest aspect of this beast is done please feel free to draw an Underwater Panther at anytime, send it in, and we’ll add it to the archives. Remember 25 beasts drawn earns you a shirt!