Rhinoceroses in Culture
Rhinoceros in Popular Culture
Due to the enormous size of the Rhinoceros it has been used in popular culture in a variety of ways. The earliest wood carving of it that has been found is dated 1515. It isn’t completely accurate though which shows that either the artist never saw the Rhinoceros in person or he had a hard time working with the wood to depict it. Regardless though it is an artifact that shows us humans have had an interest in them from the start.
The written materials from Malaysia show that the Rhinoceros was viewed as a very important animal to their culture. There are stories of the Rhinoceros coming into the villages and stopping out fires that would have destroyed all of the people there and their belongings. They also did this in the forest according to the legends to help protect the habitat for other animals.
For hundreds of years the ground up powder of the Rhinoceros horn has been used in Chinese medicine. This is a practice that continues today even though it is considered to be putting these animals at a high risk for extinction. The horns are also used for medicine and other types of creations in Asia. Decorative artwork is also created from the horns of these animals.
In Yemen these horns are used to make handles on weapons including daggers. Even though the sell of those weapons is now deemed as illegal outside of that area it is something that continues. Many people want to own such a weapon too due to what is made of so they continue to be sold on the black market. Those that circulate are very valuable and so many of them are family heirlooms worth a great deal of money.
You will find that the Rhinoceros is a big attraction at various wild animal parks and zoos. The fact that they are so large and powerful makes them very interesting to viewers. The fact that they are also at risk of becoming extinct encourages people to see them in person when they may not have had a pressing urge to do so in the past.
Many advertisers use the Rhinoceros as a mascot for logos. They want to give the impression that they are large and that they are tough. One of the biggest advertisers is that for Rhino Lining. This is a type of spray on bed liner that allows you to haul items in your pick up with damaging the paint. It is a thick gray coating that holds up well to the elements.
The Rhinoceros has found its way to TV too thanks to the comedy of Jim Carey. In a movie called Ace Ventura Pet Detective he places himself inside of the body cavity of a replica Rhinoceros. The idea is to allow him to be in the wild without detection or risk of harm around these animals.
During the study though something goes wrong and he gets very hot inside of the Rhinoceros shell. He makes an effort to get out and those that are visitors to the natural habitat area for a safari see him coming out of it. The way he comes out looks like the Rhinoceros has just given birth to an adult human.
In the movie The Gods Must be Crazy there are scenes where a Rhinoceros is in the forest stomping out fires. This is representative of the early Malaysian writings that talk about these animals having the power to do so. The impressive nature of these animals make it one that continues to be used in a variety of methods.