In Siam it is believed that a white elephant may contain the soul of a dead person, perhaps a Buddha; when one is taken the capturer is rewarded and the animal brought to the king to be kept ever afterwards; it cannot be bought or sold. It is baptized and fêted and mourned for like a human being at its death. In some parts of Indo-China the belief is that the soul of the elephant may injure people after death; it is therefore fêted by a whole village. In Cambodia it is held to bring luck to the kingdom. In Sumatra the elephant is regarded as a tutelary spirit. The cult of the white elephant is also found at Ennarea, southern Abyssinia.
Dagon seems to have been a fish-god with human head and hands; his worshippers wore fish-skins. In the temples of Apollo and Aphrodite were sacred fish, which may point to a fish cult. Atargatis is said to have had sacred fish at Askelon, and from Xenophon we read that the fish of the Chalus were regarded as gods.
Dionysus was believed to take the form of a goat, probably as a divinity of vegetation. Pan, Silenus, the Satyrs and the Fauns were either capriform or had some part of their bodies shaped like that of a goat. In northern Europe the wood spirit, Ljesche, is believed to have a goat's horns, ears and legs. In Africa the Bijagos are said to have a goat as their principal divinity.
In North America the Algonquin tribes had as their chief deity a "mighty great hare" to whom they went at death. According to one account he lived in the east, according to another in the north. In his anthropomorphized form he was known as Menabosho or Michabo.
In North Borneo we seem to see the evolution of a god in the three stages of the cult of the hawk among the Kenyahs, the Kayans and the sea Dyaks. The Kenyahs will not kill it, address to it thanks for assistance, and formally consult it before leaving home on an expedition; it seems, however, to be regarded as the messenger of the supreme god Balli Penyalong. The Kayans have a hawk-god, Laki Neho, but seem to regard the hawk as the servant of the chief god, Laki Tenangan. Singalang Burong, the hawk-god of the Dyaks, is completely anthropomorphized. He is god of omens and ruler of the omen birds; but the hawk is not his messenger, for he never leaves his house; stories are, however, told of his attending feasts in human form and flying away in hawk form when all was over.
There is some reason to believe that Poseidon, like other water gods, was originally conceived under the form of a horse. In the cave of Phigalia Demeter was, according to popular tradition, represented with the head and mane of a horse, possibly a relic of the time when a non-specialized corn-spirit bore this form. Her priests were called Poloi (colts) in Laconia. In Gaul we find a horse-goddess, Epona; there are also traces of a horse-god, Rudiobus. The Gonds in India worship a horse-god, Koda Pen, in the form of a shapeless stone; but it is not clear that the horse is regarded as divine. The horse or mare is a common form of the corn-spirit in Europe.