In the fields of ancient Greece, wooden statues were placed in the fields, carved to represent Priapus. Although he was the son of Aphrodite, Priapus was also hideously ugly, and his most prominent feature was his constant (and huge) erectïon. Birds tended to avoid fields where Priapus resided, so as Greek influence spread into Roman territory, Roman farmers soon adopted the practice.
(There's that Priapus figure again, he sure was popular).
Pre-feudal Japan used different kinds of scarecrows in their rice fields, but the most popular one was the kakashi. Old dirty rags and noisemakers like bells and sticks were mounted on a pole in the field and then lit on fire.
During the Middle Ages in Britain and Europe, small children worked as crow-scarers.
Scarecrows are also found in Native American cultures. In some parts of what is now Virginia and the Carolinas, before the white man arrived, adult men sat on raised platforms and shouted at birds or ground animals that came near the props.
Scarecrows also came to North America as waves of emigrants left Europe. German settlers in Pennsylvania brought with them the bootzamon, or bogeyman.
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