If we are to regard the Egyptian myths about the gods in animal shape, and about the non-natural superhuman heroes, and their wars and loves, as esoteric allegories devised by civilized priests, perhaps we should also explain Pund-jel, Qat, Quawteaht, the Mantis god, the Spider creator, the Coyote and Raven gods as priestly inventions, put forth in a civilized age, and retained by Australians, Bushmen, Hottentots, Ahts, Thlinkeets, Papuans, who preserve no other vestiges of high civilization.
The Mantis (like Poseidon, Hades, Metis and other Greek gods)was once swallowed, but disgorged alive.
Among the lowest races the culture-hero commonly wears a bestial guise, is a spider (Melanesia), an eagle hawk (in some myths and south-east Australia), a coyote (north-west America), a dog or raven (Thlinkeet), a mantis insect (Bushman), and so forth, yet is endowed with human or even super-human qualities, and often shades off into a permanent and practically deathless god.
Like Heracles when he leaped into the belly of the monster which was about to swallow Hesione, the Mantis once jumped down the throat of a hostile elephant, and so destroyed him.
The Mantis made an eland out of the shoe of his son-in-law.
The moon was also created by the Mantis out of his shoe, and it is red, because the shoe was covered with the red dust of Bushman-land.
On the moors in late summer the mantis (kama-kiri-niushi) is commonly met with, and the cricket (kurogi) and the cockroach, abound.
The Mantis is defeated in an encounter with a cat which happened to be singing a song about a lynx.