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Charming Art from India

The term "thug" which describes a person of criminal or ne'er-do-well intent comes from a band of professional assassins who used rob and kill travelers in Central India Once Upon A Time. They believed the god Kali gave them the right and power to do this, so everything they did was an offering to her.

Kali is pretty cool. She's the Divine Creator of all worlds and represented as a Black woman, because all colors combined make black. She has four arms. In one hand she has a sword, in another the head of a demon she has slain. With the other two she is calling her worshippers. For earrings she has two dead bodies and wears a necklace of skulls. Her only clothing is a girdle made of dead men's hands, her tongue protrudes from her mouth. Her eyes are red, her face and breasts are covered with blood. She stands with her feet on the thigh and breast of her husband. (Pretty much how I'd walk around doing things if I could get away with it...)

Back to the Thugs, or Thugees, depending. What they'd do is sneak up behind their victim, throw a cloth around their throat and tighten it until the victim passed out, or almost. Then they'd loosen it to revive the victim, then tighten it again, etc. They'd call to Kali to come and join in on the fun. Eventually this agonizing torture would kill the victim. They were nice guys though; they never killed women. Eventually the British Army and various "authorities" wiped the Thugs out. There are still professional bands of bandits who worship Kali and do their deeds in her honor, but today they carry guns and don't mess around.
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