Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Chicken mythology

Finally finished sanding the boxes. Also I found out that our date for the certification got pushed back to June 1st that will help a lot.

Goal for the week 13.5 hrs
work on ideas for fine art pieces
make rough sketches
work on wax Dragon if I'm not coming up with anything

The red jungle fowl or chicken (Gallus gallus) holds a very important place in the mythologies of many cultures. In Norse mythology the coming of Ragnarok was to be for told by 3 roosters Gullinkambi in Valhalla, Fjalar in the wood of Galgvior, and an unnamed red rooster of Hel. In early Athenian vase painting a creature called the Hippalektryon, with the legs and wings of a chicken and the head and forelimbs of a horse shows up, this may be a very early depiction of Pegasos. In another ancient Greek story Ares charges Alectryon to keep watch while he snuck in and spent some time with Aphrodite. Alectryon failed and fell asleep, so Helios walked in on Ares and Aphrodite. As punishment Ares turned Alectryon into a rooster so that he would never forget to announce the sun again. In ancient Greece the rooster was associated with valor and was linked to Ares, Athena and Heracles, it was also not an uncommon sacrifice to Asclepius god of medicine. In later Christian depictions of Greek myths in paintings the rooster had gotten associated with resurrection and was often shown with Persephone/Proserpina and on the lap of Hades. In Slavic folklore Baba Yaga has a house that runs around on chicken feet. The cockerel was put on the land by the god Oduduwa and it in turn dug the hole the first tree came from in Nigerian mythology. In Indonesian Hindu cremation ceremonies a chicken may be tethered by the leg and kept at the ceremony to ensure evil spirits go to the chicken and not the family members. The rooster is also a part of the Chinese zodiac (that would be the one I got) it represents someone who is brave, tenacious, pretentious, self absorbed, and overly romantic. In Chinese Confucian weddings sometimes a chicken can be used as a stand in for a relative that is seriously ill or has recently died. A red scarf is tied around the stand in chicken's head and it is held by the closest relative of the person it is representing.  In Vodou traditions roosters are favored by the Loa Ogun and Papa Legba, and Papa Legba in particular has the colors red and black. I could go on but this is getting a bit long so I will stop here.

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