Zombies and Their Evolution in Popular Culture

Noer Huda By Noer Huda
3 Min Read

jlk – Whether you’re a fan of horror movies or not, zombies are certainly familiar to you. They are iconic figures in haunting and suspenseful stories. But did you know where these terrifying creatures originated?

Zombies are not a new phenomenon. They have roots in African folklore, particularly in Gabon and Congo, where local communities believed in the spirits of the dead called ndzumbi or nzambi.

This belief later spread to America, especially during the Atlantic slave trade period in the 16th century.

Haiti became the place where the belief in zombies developed most rapidly. Escaped slaves created the Voodoo religion, combining elements of African beliefs and other religions.

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According to Voodoo, priests called bokors had the ability to create and control zombies as instruments of power or revenge.

In the 20th century, stories about zombies began to spread to the Western world, especially after the US occupation of Haiti in 1915. Soldiers and journalists brought these stories home, which were later adapted into pulp fiction magazine stories and horror films.

However, the image of zombies as we know them now only emerged in 1968, through George A. Romero’s film “Night of the Living Dead.”

This film created a new paradigm in the horror genre by featuring bloodthirsty zombies attacking humans.

Since then, the evolution of zombies has continued. They are no longer just slow-moving undead corpses but have become more vicious, fast, and deadly creatures.

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They are also often associated with a contagious virus infection transmitted to humans through bites.

More than just terrifying monsters, zombies have become symbols of various things in popular culture.

They reflect fears of death, epidemics, or environmental destruction. They are also frequently used as metaphors for chaotic social, political, or economic conditions, where humans must survive amidst crises.

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Despite undergoing many changes in appearance and behavior, the allure of zombies remains undeniable. They invite us to contemplate the meaning of life, humanity, and hope in a world full of threats.

In many ways, zombies are mirrors of ourselves, showing both the darkest and the best sides of humanity.

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