Scarecrows – More Than Just Stuffing on a Pole

It is that time of year, when the air is crisp ushering in a wave of brilliant splashes of color and bountiful harvests, it is time for SCARECROWS! To the farmer, these bird scaring devices symbolize the death and resurrection of the crops. In an effort to save the fruits and seeds of their labor from circling crows and other hungry creatures waiting for a feast, farmers have devised a variety of human-like mannequins since ancient times to protect ripening crops from birds.

Formidophobia  is the fear of scarecrows or people dressed like one.  Birds are able to recognize faces and changes in their environment, and hence the scarecrow was born of straw and tattered clothing, tied to poles and planted in fields to protect and scare away intruders. To keep up the charade, the straw people need to move around, keeping the crops safe and assuring the seeds for the next years planting are not gobbled up.

The History  and use of Scarecrows:

  • 2,500 B.C. Ancient Egyptians used straw scarecrows as well as slaves to scare away birds from their crops.
  • 712 A.D. Literary references can be found in ‘Kojiki’, a Japanese book.
  • 1390 A.D. Earliest mention children when were sent into the fields with sacks on their backs with poles attached to startle birds from the crops.
  • 1560 A.D. The first known use of the word scarecrow was actual humans who stood in fields to scare the birds. Eventually, scarecrows were built to look human, using straw and tattered clothing.

Scarecrow Trivia:

  • No two scarecrows are exactly alike – impossible to precisely build the same scarecrow
  • Different place, different name, still a scarecrow – strawman, tatterdemalion, ragamuffin, and shaggy’s are all scarecrows.
  • There is a Japanese village called Nagoro, which has 35 inhabitants and over 350 scarecrows residing.
  • The U.K.’s National Forest Adventure Farm holds the world record for the largest gathering of scarecrows ever in one place, with 3812 on display at once.
  • Comic book publishers Marvel and D.C. both have characters called Scarecrow, both very different as all scarecrows are.

 

The Scarecrow Village @ Northwest Park invites you, your family, friends and groups of all kinds to gathering up your creative ideas and come build them here. There is no charge to be a part of this fun and family friendly event. There is no limit on space or how many you can build, just ask that they be family friendly, NO politics or violence. We have plenty of trees that are looking for a scarecrow family to move in and bring some fun to the park. Fall Fest is almost here and the weather is looking great for the weekend – Oct 8th installations start! Please contact : email Chris OBrien  cobrien@manchesterct.gov to register for the 2022 Scarecrow Village. Location is Northwest Park, 448 Tolland Tpk. Manchester, CT.

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