Horns are hard structures growing from the animals’ heads. Most horned animals, for example, sheep, cattle, goats, and antelope, also have hooves. Horns vary greatly in size and shape. They are attached to the bone of an animal’s head. Horns are made of keratin, the same material that makes up hooves, hair, fingernails, and feathers. Horns grow in pairs as the animals get older.
Animals use horns as weapons to protect themselves from enemies and in battles with other animals of their kind.
Hornlike antlers, which are not true horns, grow from the heads of deer, elk, and moose. Antlers are bone with a velvety covering and they fall off every year.
The single horn of a rhinoceros is actually made of hardened hairs that are tightly bunched together.
Horn of plenty, or a cornucopia, is considered one of the most valuable amulets. It appeared 25 centuries ago. Even the ancient Greeks considered it a symbol of wealth and longed to have it. Horn of plenty was always associated with prosperity and well-being. This ancient amulet attracts luck and wealth to its owner.
Fortuna, the goddess of happiness, destiny and fortune, was portrayed as a woman with a cornucopia in her hands. The cornucopia is a symbol of the Nile River.
The cornucopia is a common heraldic element embodying all the blessings of Mother Earth. The coat of arms of Colombia, in particular, depicts a classic cornucopia full of flowers and exotic fruits typical of this country, and one more, with gold coins. A golden cornucopia is also on the coat of arms of Peru. The coat of arms of Venezuela depicts two crossed cornucopias. The same motif is repeated on the Panama emblem and on the coat of arms of Mendoza province in Argentina.
In many primitive traditions, the horn symbolizes power. The horned tiara in Sumer is a symbol of supreme power, since the bull was considered the embodiment of power and the image of the supreme god.
The horn is a solar and lunar symbol at the same time, it is a part of the attributes of both the gods of the sun and the gods of the moon. Horned gods symbolize warriors, fertility for both humans and animals.
Drinking horns have been known since antiquity. It is known that the knights drank wine from the horns of rams, and high-ranking persons – from bison’s horns. In the Middle Ages drinking horns were made of metals and glass, but their popularity remained unchanged. Drinking horns were used for ceremonial rituals throughout the Middle Ages and later in parts of Europe, mainly in Germanic cultures and in the Caucasus.