We at the American Treasure Tour blog resource center have spent veritable moments researching the origin of our little scarecrow that is currently hanging out in the Toy Box, and we've discovered some amazing facts. - The earliest recorded use of scarecrows to deter birds from eating foodstuffs in farms was back in the days of the Ancient Egyptians. They actually served a double purpose – not only to prevent the quails that were prevalent from eating the seeds, but to scare them into large nets used to capture them for later eating themselves. The Greeks incorporated their own traditions into the creation of scarecrows, making them look like the goddess Aphrodite, who was supposedly ugly enough to scare anyone out of their vineyards. They then painted the scarecrows purple, putting a club in one of their hands and a sickle in the other to ensure good crops. Simultaneously to that, Japanese rice farmers made their own scarecrows, called kakashis. Later German scarecrows were designed to look like witches, a tradition immigrant Germans brought to the United States that they called ‘bootzamon.’
And, of course, scarecrows are still used for their primary function of … um … scaring crows and other birds from destroying crops, but they’ve also been embraced by horror film producers, specifically in the Jeepers Creepersfilm franchise. Today, some farmers opt to use gun sounds to scare away birds, but no matter what efforts are made, there will always be birds out there that simply don’t care, and will continue to eat crops regardless of the risk.