Cranes – A Symbol of Love and Loyalty
Posted by kaviiks on August 15, 2008
Many American gardeners adore the use of crane statues and crane fountain statuary for creating a coastal theme near a pond or pool. In fact, these birds add a refreshing statement to the garden landscape and help deliver color and vibrancy. The crane bird with all its magnificence and glory has been widely celebrated for its loyalty towards its mate. And because cranes are often seen in pairs, sculptors tend to portray them as such with a male crane looking ahead while a female crane stands loyally by his side, head bowed slightly. What is it about these tall slender birds oftentimes noted in pairs or groups, that makes them an inspiring idea for a painting, statue or most importantly, as a symbol of love and harmony that many of us look towards purchasing crane statues to celebrate a wedding or an anniversary? Their tall and graceful presence has in truth, been an inspiration for eastern and western based paintings and certainly, the epitome for much of the folklore tales and myths all around the world. Sociological and archeological studies have highlighted that cranes were symbolic representations in such cultures as the Greek, North American, east Asian and Arabic worlds. According to historical facts, a dance inspired by the movement and grace of the cranes led to the creation of a crane dance which is performed in the Tongdosa Temple, one of the three Jewel Temples of Korea, since the Silla dynasty. The Greeks viewed the crane as an omen but these birds were also associated with the Greek Gods Apollo and the Goddess Artemis. On a separate note, the Russian and Eastern European cultures are thought to believe that soldiers who die in battle will be transformed as cranes. For the Chinese, the cranes are associated with longetivity and wisdom; legend has it that Taoist sages were transported in the heavens atop the back of cranes. And although the Chinese consider cranes to have long lives up to 1,000 years, cranes really live up to 30 years of age only.
Hence, cranes hold a symbolic representation in many cultures including the eastern cultures which worship these birds for their love, peace and harmony. Because cranes are faithful birds and mate for life, crane statues are popular choices for gifts to young couples starting their lives together. Many of us also offer crane statues as goodwill and longetivity for a wedding or an anniversary. The cranes are symbolic for young and old, an inspiring symbol of love for two people who are bound to the other through the ties of marriage. The Japanese for instance, hold the cranes very dearly as symbols of loyalty, love and peace and the story of Sadako Sasaki who contracted cancer after the bombs were dropped on Hiroshima, Japan in 1945, has been a marked influence in much of the love for cranes in the Eastern heritage. According to the story, Sadako created 1,000 origami paper cranes as a wish that she would be well again but though she died in 1955, her perseverance in creating these beautiful cranes became an inspiring factor for many Japanese children who raised funds to create a park in her memory. Stories abound on the symbolic meaning of cranes and we hope that the almost universal meaning they convey will be respected and followed by all.
Written by Romilla D. for Kaviik’s Accents
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