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February 2020 - Dwayyo


 $10.95

This item is password protected and available to members of The Geocoin Club only. If you are a member of The Geocoin Club, you will receive the month's password in club newsletter email.

Design By: Chris Mackey 

Dimensions 45 mm Wide

Thickness4.0  3.5 mm

Finish 2 Tone Ant Copper/Ant Nickel
Enameling Soft Enamel

Trackable? Yes

Has Icon Yes

February 2020 - Dwayyo

Design notes from Chris:  

In August of 2019, the legend of the Schneller Geist (aka Snallygaster) was showcased and the mysterious origins of the 7-sided star art among the Pennsylvania Dutch settlers was shared.  The legendary terror feared only one creature in it's domain... the Dwayyo (aka Hexenbeast or Maryland Dogman).  These rare offspring of the Geist are born with an innate intelligence and intense hatred of their forebears.

While investigating the Schneller Geist, I was struck by the unusual reference to the rare offspring known as the Dwayyo.  There are only a few references to that name, but during my investigation I found another word for the same creature...  Hexenbeast.  These creatures have been confused with popular stories of Werewolves and the like for centuries, but there are numerous distinct differences between the two.  The Dwayyo is described quite distinctly on numerous occasion from writings dating back to the 16th century and in oral tradition far longer.  The most infamous being the Beast of Gévaudan in the Margeride Mountains of south-central France from 1764 to 1767.  Attacks by the beast(s) spanned an approximately 50 mile square area and an estimated 210 attacks resulted in injury or worse.  The Kingdom of France spent an enormous amount of money and man-power to destroy the beast before the famed hunter Jean Chastel was finally credited with slaying the creature with hand-forged silver bullets.  

When Dutch settlers began to establish farms in the new world in the late 18th century, most thought the perils of the old world were left behind, but before long the Schneller Geist and Hexenbeast were encountered here as well.  They are described as lean and heavily muscled with a heavy, bushy tail (unlike the werewolf) and moving rapidly from an animal's gait to a bi-pedal loping.  It appears similar to a wolf, but larger and with the arms, stance and stature of a human in a crouched posture.  There were quite a number of recorded sightings with the latest taking place in 1944, then the mid '60's and then again in 1976 and the latest in 2009.  

The consistency of the physical descriptions by people who lived locally and people visiting or passing through with no prior knowledge is astounding.  Most people made official reports to police, park rangers and county sheriffs, but also asked to remain anonymous.  However, two Cunningham Falls State Park Rangers saw a large, hairy creature matching the Hexenbeast description in 1978 and entered it in their official reports.  It was particularly important because less than 2 years prior there was another report by two concerned local hunters who encountered a creature while out spotting deer at night.  They reported seeing a creature "at least six feet tall and looked like a wolf. Its body was covered in thick brown fur with the lower half banded in lighter and darker stripes. The hind legs were thick like a kangaroo and as it ran, it was upright and leaning forward, much like how a human being runs."  In 2009, along Coxey Brwon Road outside Myersville, Maryland another encounter records a woman driving near the same state park on the way to visit a friend late in the evening.  She noticed an animal running along side the road through the woods and slowed out of fear that it might be a deer that could attempt to cross the road and be struck.  As she slowed it suddenly veered out of the woods and directly toward her vehicle where she could see it quite clearly.  She sped away immediately and reported it to local authorities.  To date there have been hundreds of reported encounters and sightings in more than 39 states.  

So if you're out there after dark and you hear the distant scream of the Dwayyo, you'll want a token of protection from the otherworldly creature.  In the same way that the Dutch settlers had a 7-pointed star hex symbol of protection for their homes and farms from the Snallygaster, they also had 5-pointed star hex symbols of protection from the Dwayyo.  They would embed these hexes with symbols of strength like the oak and maple, barriers of water or runes from the old country.  This coin carries those marks of protection and arrangements of runes in a style similar to the oldest depicted protection hexes.  A reminder to be careful when out in the woods at night and talisman of protection to sooth those nerves when you hear a bump in the dark!  

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