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Tattoo designs - P >> Peacocks

Peacock tattoo designsPeacock Tattoos - Peacocks, and the colourful and flamboyant feathers (see Feathers) prominently featured in the extravagant tail display of the male Peacock have often been featured in tattoos, particularly those with an Asian or Far Eastern theme. We have all heard the expression, "Proud as a Peacock." The expression was first used by Chaucer in the 14th century and still works today. Pride, vanity and strutting arrogance, those are the qualities we immediately attribute to the handsome Peacock. But its astonishing beauty -- especially its magnificent plumage -- has gained it a symbolic presence in temples, royal gardens, and even at the gates of Paradise, according to one Muslim legend.

The Peacock is known as 'the bird of 100 eyes', due to the patterning in its tail feathers. The 'eyes' became a favourite mythic metaphor as all-seeing witnesses to hidden transgressions. The concept found its way into religious belief as the symbol of beatific vision. In the ancient myths of Egypt, Greece, and Rome, the Peacock feather was a symbol of the 'evil eye', and even today the Peacock feather is viewed with suspicion and kept out of the house in some parts of Europe.

The first Peacock (the male of the Peafowl species) strutted about in the jungles of Southwest Asia and found its way eventually to the four corners of the world.

It is the symbol of India, and thousands of Peacocks can still be found in Indian temples, perhaps because they are said to be great snake-slayers. Reputed to be immune to snake bites, its venom-rich blood was believed to chase away evil spirits. The god, Krishna wore peacock feathers in his hair and legend tells of the sons of Shiva riding on the back of the Peacock. In early Christian times, Peacock flesh was believed to be incorruptible. This, together with its eyes symbolizing the all-seeing Church, elevated the Peacock to sacred emblem status, representing resurrection, immortality, and the pure soul.

Uncountable stories attest to its popularity with divinity, royalty, and the military. The Greek goddess Hera (a.k.a. Juno) is said to have plucked the hundred eyes from the giant Argus while he slept, then placed them in the tails of her temple Peacocks. Sufi legend describes the creation of all living creatures from droplets of sweat from the body of the Peacock. In China, the Peacock represented divinity, rank, power and beauty. It was also reckoned that a woman could get pregnant if a Peacock glanced at her!

Throughout the world, the beauty of the Peacock has adorned the heads of royalty from Lord Krishna to Queen Marie Antoinette. It became a favourite bird on the coats of arms of some of the great houses of Europe. During the days of chivalry, to 'swear on the peacock' was considered a solemn oath.

Peacock Inspiration Gallery - Click here to get inspired!A peacock was often used as a sign for a tailor in the 18th Century. Generally it was someone who dealt in custom fine clothing.

Justifiably proud as the Peacock is of its prismatic beauty, an accidental glance at its own extremely ugly feet sends this angel of a bird shrieking like a devil!

Get inspired by some really great images and photos in our Peacock Inspiration Gallery

See also: Bird Tattoo Index

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Tattoo designs - P >> Peacocks

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