The greek Drákaines (Δράκαινες) is a race or group of serpent-like creatures with human features, generally female. Basically what the Medusa from the original 80's Clash of the Titans, minus the snakes for hair. The singular name is drakaina (Δρακαινα), and the latin name is dracaena. Does anyone know the name of any other mythological creatures, from any other regions, such as ancient Egypt, Persia, China, or Japan, with the same description, a creature which is upper half human, lower half serpent?
2en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_reptilian_humanoids#Folklore– Harel13Nov 23, 2020 at 20:33
1Thank you Harel13, good place to start– WalterNov 26, 2020 at 16:15
The first strong parallel to come to mind is the Naga: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N%C4%81ga
They are principally depicted in three forms: wholly human with snakes on the heads and necks, common serpents, or as half-human half-snake beings. A female naga is a "Nagi", "Nagin", or "Nagini". Nagaraja is seen as the king of nāgas and nāginis. They are common and hold cultural significance in the mythological traditions of many South Asian and Southeast Asian cultures. They are the children of Rishi Kashyapa and Kadru.
Some of the pictures show remarkable similarities, but what fascinates me is the parallel between the Echidna, who birthed many snake-monsters, and Kadru, who did the same. Despite the similarity of their names, they seem to be unrelated, with Echidna deriving from the PIE word *angwhi- meaning snake, which wouldn't have given us Kadru in Sanskrit. (Not sure if it's related, but this kadru means brown. Any Sanskrit experts want to weigh in on whether it's a related word to the goddess?)
δράκαινες is simply the Nominative plural form of δράκαινα (drákaina), which is composed of δράκων (drákōn, “dragon”) + -αινᾰ (-aina). From Byzantine Greek δράκαινα (drákaina), feminine form of δράκων (drákōn), i.e. a female dragon.
In Greek mythology, a drakaina is a female serpent or dragon, sometimes with humanlike features. It is not recorded to be a different race from drákōn.
Python, slain by Apollo, and the earliest representations of Delphyne are shown as simply gigantic serpents, similar to other Greek dragons.
Part of the definition on wikipedia: However, although the word "drakaina" is literally the feminine form of drakon (Ancient Greek for dragon or serpent), most drakainas had some features of a human woman. Lamia, Campe, Echidna, and many representations of Ceto, Scylla and Delphyne had the head and torso of a woman. theoi.com/greek-mythology/dragons.html separates dragons into four distinct categories, grouping drakon as different than drakaina.– WalterNov 26, 2020 at 5:09