De l’origine du chien et de sa diffusion à l’aune de sa mythologie

Julien D'HUY

fr Anthropozoologica 57 (7) - Pages 169-184

Published on 03 June 2022

From the origin of the dog and its diffusion to the light of its mythology

Using phylogenetic tools, it is possible to reconstruct how myths about dogs spread around the world, as well as their probable point of origin. The tree built from mythological motifs associated with dogs takes root between Central and East Asia. It shows two diffusions of these motifs in America, the second only affecting the northern part of the continent. The mythological motifs seem to have followed the same diffusion routes as dogs, which corroborates the findings of genetics and archaeology. Furthermore, the phylogenetic approach makes it possible to identify the first mythological tales related to dogs: “A man marries a female dog”; “1/ The dog is the master, the guard or the guide to the land of death or 2/ Dogs live on the road leading to the land of death”; “The creatures have both human and canine characters, most often a man’s body with a dog’s head”; “Dogs or men with dog heads are married to human women” and “Sirius is associated with a dog or a wolf”. These reconstructions, also associated with wolves in the area of origin considered, make it possible to explain various archaeological remains with a high degree of probability.


Mythological motif, phylogenetic, co-diffusion, protomythology.

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