December 29, 2019

Peafowl Bird - Beautiful and Great Symbolism

Peafowl is a beautiful bird, members of the pheasant family. One well-known species is the blue peafowl (Indian peafowl), a species of peafowl native to the Indian Subcontinent, but was introduced in many other parts of the world. Peafowl species from Asia are the Indian peafowl (Pavo cristatus) in Indian Subcontinent and the green peafowl (Pavo muticus) in Southeast Asia. While the species from Africa is the Conggo peafowl (Afropavo congensis) native only to the Congo Basin.

Peafowl Bird Symbolism, Bird Blue Peafowl, Indian Peafowl Birds

Male peafowl is referred to as peacocks, while the female is called peahens. The male peafowl is known for the long "train" consists of highly elongated upper tail covert feathers. These feathers are marked with eye spots that look amazing when a peacock fan his tail.

During the courtship ritual, the peacock displays a beautiful train of iridescent blue-green feathers to attract the attention of peahens.

The female peafowl also displays her plumage to ward off female competition, or signals danger to her young children.

Peafowl are omnivores, eat mostly plant parts, flower petals, insects, amphibians, and even eat small snakes. Peafowl have loud calls make them easy to detect and in the forest often indicate the presence of predators (tiger). Peacock is one of the symbols of India, and this bird was adopted as its national bird in 1963.

Peacock show significance in cultures or symbols. In India, peacock is depicted as mount of the God of War, Lord Kartikeya. This bird is also depicted as a mount of the warrior Goddess Kaumari. Krishna is often depicted with peacock feathers on his headband. Meanwhile, the peacock is the third animal zodiac to the Sinhalese people of Sri Lanka.

The Buddhist deity Mahamayuri is also described as seated on a peacock. Mahamayuri is known as the queen of the secret sciences and is believed to protect from poisoning, either physical or spiritual.

The peacock is seen as a guardian to royalty and it’s often carved upon royal thrones especially in Persian and Babylonian. In Christianity, the peacock is associated with Paradise and the Tree of Life.

Peacock is also associated with Goddess Saraswati, the goddess who represents virtue, compassion, and sacred knowledge. Peafowl is said to keep the environment free of snakes. People store peacock feathers in their home and are believed to bring good luck and prosperity.

Peacock motifs are widespread in Indian temple architecture, textiles, art and more. Peacock motifs are also found in carvings or temple reliefs in Indonesia. One of the "batik" (textile) motifs from Priangan is inspired by a peacock, known as the "Merak Ngibing" (The Dancing Peacock).

The peacock also inspired one of the traditional dances from the Pasundan region, West Java, namely the Merak Dance (Tari Merak). The dance depicts an expression of the life of peacocks. This dance is the work of a choreographer named Raden Tjetjep Somantri in 1950.

Meanwhile in Bali, the behavior of peacocks has become an inspiration for the birth of traditional dance, the Merak Angelo Dance (Tari Merak Angelo). This is the work of artist I Ketut Rena, SST., with gamelan music by I Dewa Gede Dharmayasa, S. Skar. The dance is inspired by the behavior of the peacock that goes around, and then enforces its beautiful feathers to form a fan to attract the attention of the female peafowl or peahens.


  2. _ Peafowl _ on December 28, 2019
  3. Image : Original Collection

Searches on this site related to Peafowl Bird Symbolism:

1. Goddess Saraswati Day
2. Merak Angelo Dance Bali

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