This course covers 22 different Pokémon and their connection to American culture and mythology. This course is not a comprehensive overview of American mythology; instead, we focus on the aspects of the Ancient Americas that have to do with Pokemon. Students will come away with a basic understanding of many of the Ancient American gods and magical creatures, and how they are connected to their favorite Pokémon.
Here are the Pokemon and American connections we will cover in class. First, we’ll talk about Rufflet and Braviary and its connection to the American Eagle. Next, we’ll compare Baltoy to Kachina dolls and Torterra to the World Turtle. Ho-oh and Zapdos might be based on mythical birds from mythology (Achiyalabopa and the Thunderbird). And Xatu is based on the Xat (totem pole). Next, in Central America, we’ve got the Ahuizotl (a possible inspiration for Aipom), Itzpapalotl (the inspiration for Lunala), the Quetzalcoatl (Raquaza), Tezcatlipoca (Umbreon), and Tlaloc (Bronzong) – all gods from Aztec mythology. We will finish up Central America with La Luchuza (Decidueye) and Mexican dancing/music (Maractus, Lombre, and Ludicolo). Finally, we’ll hit some references to South America with Capoeira dancing (Hitmontop), the Carbunclo and Alicanto from folklore (possible inspirations for Espeon and Skarmory), Sigilyph’s relationship to the Nazca Lines, and a smattering of mythology from the Mapuche people that inspired the creation of Groudon, Kyogre, and Coalossal.
As you can see, there is a lot more to learn about the mythology of the Americas than just these Pokemon references, so after watching the recordings, I hope you’ll also check out the extension activities. The activities include articles, Youtube videos, and research challenges that will deepen your understanding of the mythology of the Americas. When you’re done, I hope you’ll take the time to share with me what you learned – especially if you come across another possible connection to Pokemon!