Feathers – birds’ coat
Feathers cover a bird’s body and no other animals have them. According to many scientists, birds developed from reptiles millions of years ago. So, reptiles’ scales became feathers. Tiny hooks hold together the feathers on a bird’s body. At least once a year birds are molting. Feathers are very important to survival. Different kinds of feathers have different purposes. Straight, stiff feathers give birds their ability to fly. Tail feathers help with steering, balance, and braking. Small, fluffy feathers, keep a bird’s body from getting too cold or too hot, and its skin from getting wet.
People in many cultures decorate hats, clothing, and jewelry with colorful feathers. Feathers are also good filling for clothing and pillows for softness and warmth.
The owl’s feathers are designed in such a way that their flight is noiseless. This allows birds to hunt in the dark.
The feather symbolizes truth, lightness, heaven, height, speed, flight to other areas of the world, the soul, the element of wind and air. In a broader sense, feathers worn by shamans, priests or rulers symbolized a magical connection with the world of spirits or divine authority and patronage.
In ancient Egypt, the feather was the supreme power, truth, flight, weightlessness, dryness, height. Feathers are attribute of several heaven gods.
In the Christian tradition, feathers symbolize prayer, faith and contemplation. The Scandinavian goddess Freya has a magical cape of feathers, which allows her to fly through the air.
A common bird feather can be a symbol of trust, flight, lightness, high spirituality, courage, love of freedom, creativity and will. The feather of an eagle is a symbol of power, courage, high flight. Peacock’s feather is a symbol of nobility, wealth, love, sun symbol. Firebirds’ feathers are a symbol of flame, grace, eternal beauty and sacrament.
Ian Davie is a British artist, who paints amazing pictures on swans’ feathers. The unusual painting technique used by the artist allows drawing incredibly realistic butterflies, birds, animals and fish, as well as very beautiful trees and flowers. All feathers are sent from the bird sanctuary, where the caretakers collect them during the molting of swans. Ian is proud that money he pays for feathers is used to support the wildlife.
Feathers are absolutely natural material, they do not need electricity and chemicals. Ian uses feathers that are 46 cm in length. The creation of every painting takes a whole week.
Sources: www.liveinternet.ru, Encyclopedia Britannica, kultorologia.ru