Saturday, August 8, 2009

Zombie Challenge: Zombie and Its Origins Part I

Zombies have origins in the Haitian religion of Vodou. The actual word zombie was borrowed into English from Haitian Creole (which comes from French and various African languages). It also comes from the Bantu language family of Africa and was brought from West Africa with slaves that were sent to French plantations before 1804. Various word origins include: zumbi "object with supernatural powers," and zambi "ghost, departed spirit," from the language Kikongo and nzambi "god" in Kimbundu.

According to More Word Histories and Mysteries:
...zombies are believed to possess only the part of the soul that animates the body, for they have been deprived of the aspect of the soul that gives them their individual personality and the ability to make moral judgments.
Zombie didn't appear in English til the 19th century in various historical works, but entered popular speech in the early 20th century. William Seabrook wrote a sensationalized memoir of his time in Haiti called The Magic Island and subsequently introduced the American public to zombies in 1929.

So fascinating. All of this information was taken from More Word Histories and Mysteries from the editors of the American Heritage Dictionaries. I'll be adding more for another day!


  1. zombies and etymology? Could you have written me a better post? Not likely.

  2. No, I didn't get my CMT, but I plan to. I mean that I am an aspiring CMT. Did you get that email from Career Step about the RMT prep course? Apparently they have two different tests the CMT and the RMT. The CMT test requires that you have 2 years of acute care experience before you can take it. The RMT is a way for you to become certified as well without the two years of acute care. I am hoping to do either (depending on my experience) because then I could open my possibilities to owning a MT business or become a QA.
    I think the reason they downplay its importance is because you can be a MT without it AND you have to have experience before you can even get it.
    Man, we need to get together. :-D I'm hoping that after the 23 (we're going on vacation) I can settle into my new work schedule and we'll have you guys over. Everything is so up in the air because starting this week I'm finishing my job at Walmart and starting my job at IHC. I'm going to be an exhausted girl. Keep pestering me because my memory is horrible lately.

  3. OOOhhh Scary pic! I got my zombie bookmark yesterday--I haven't started my Austen readings yet, but soon. Somewhere that is still a very dark place is Jamaica--lots of voodoo still practiced. My nephew spent 2 years there. So, anyway, have a great zombie-free day!

  4. I loved reading about the history of Zombies! I have rented the Night of the Living Dead for the challenge!

  5. super cool post! love this bit of zombie history!

  6. Heather, I left an additional comment on the Holly's inbox post.

  7. I'll be posting my part II version soon!

  8. Ooh, that was fascinating! I love worf origins! :)


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