Zwarte Piet, Haji Firuz (Huginn Petrus) & Karši-Ptar (black-winged)


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This is an ancient Indo-European tradition which has nothing to do with racism. The Myths of Haji Firuz: The Racist Contours of the Iranian Minstrel

Cultural depictions of ravens

To the Germanic peoples, Odin was often associated with ravens. Examples include depictions of figures often identified as Odin appear flanked with two birds on a 6th-century bracteate and on a 7th-century helmet plate from Vendel, Sweden. In later Norse mythology, Odin is depicted as having two ravens Huginn and Muninn, serving as his eyes and ears – huginn meaning "thought" and muninn meaning "memory". Each day the ravens fly out from Hliðskjálf and bring Odin news from Midgard.


In Persian sacred literature, a bird acted as the emissary for the diffusion of the Zoroastrian religion among the creatures living in Yima's enclosure (vara). The bird's name is given as Karšiptar or Karšift.[27] According to scholarship, its name would mean "black-winged" (from Karši- "black", cognate to Sanskrit kṛṣṇá and Slavic chjerno; and ptar-, cognate to Greek pterón). The name possibly refers to a raven, since this bird plays the role of divine messenger in several mythologies.


According to Hélène Adeline Guerber and other historians,[11][12] the origin of Sinterklaas and his helpers have been linked by some to the Wild Hunt of Odin. While riding the white horse Sleipnir, he flew through the air as the leader of the Wild Hunt. He was always accompanied by two black ravens, Huginn and Muninn.[13] These helpers would listen, just like Zwarte Piet, at the chimneys of the homes they visited to tell Odin about the good and bad behavior of the mortals below.


Hāji Firuz (Persian: حاجی فیروز) or Khwāje Piruz (Persian: خواجه پیروز) is a fictional character in Iranian folklore who appears in the streets by the beginning of Nowruz.

On this day an ugly, thin-bearded (also: funny, old, one-eyed, toothless) man, dressed in rags, appeared in the streets riding a donkey or a mule, holding a crow in one hand and a fan in the other.

The urban Kusa of medieval sources seems to be close to Mir-e Nowruzi (the New Year Prince), who has a long-lasting tradition in the Middle East, and to his modern continuation Haji Firuz. There are striking parallels between the Kusa and East European Christian caroling traditions.
Interestingly, the country of Kosovo is named after this black bird concept.

On another note, you should have included "Black Pete" in the thread title so we know what the thread is about. This is an English language forum.
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