۞ ∞ United For Evolution ∞ ۞
Feng Huang Birds
Feng and huang are mythological Chinese birds that reign over all other birds. The males are called Feng and the females Huang.
In modern times, however, such a distinction of gender is often no
longer made and the Feng and Huang are blurred into a single feminine
entity so that the bird can be paired with the Chinese dragon, which has
male connotations. The Fenghuang is also called the "August Rooster"
since it sometimes takes the place of the Rooster in the Chinese Zodiac.
In the West, it is commonly referred to as the Chinese Phoenix.
of an ancient bird have appeared in China for over 7,000 years, the
earliest as Shang Dynasty pottery motifs, then appearing decorating
bronzes, as well as jade figurines (many of the most beautiful from the
Liao Period). Some believe they may have been a good-luck totem,
believing that it is a totem of eastern tribes in ancient China. Current
theories suggest that it is likely based in part - for example the
snake-like neck - on folk memory of the Asian Ostrich which was common
in prehistoric China but became extinct several thousand years ago. That
this bird was well-known to the early modern humans in Asia, noted for
its peculiarity, and hunted for food, is attested by numerous
archaeological finds, such as pottery decorated with what appear to be
painted ostriches, and bones by early campsites.
seems to have no connection with the phoenix of the Western world, which
derives from Egyptian mythology. Peculiarly, the "Western" (actually:
Ancient Egyptian) Phoenix may also in part reference a prehistoric bird,
the Bennu Heron. Unlike the Fenghuang, which is a chimera not very much
like any actual bird (though elements of a cock and a curisorial
groundbird probably best interpreted as an ostrich are recognizable)