contribution to the birds

birds, these feathered creatures, have been on Earth for a while. Birds are living dinosaurs. About 65 million years ago, a huge extinction caused by an asteroid impact wiped out all dinosaurs except for one group. That group of dinosaurs went on to become all the birds we see today.

They appeared in cultures, literature, mythologies, paintings, sculptures, and even music.

Birds have been necessary to human society in multiple ways. Since their origin, birds and eggs have been food sources for humans and still are in most societies. In addition, they inspired humans to learn the fly.


But before flying in this path of birds, I want to distinguish two aspects of birds and understand how we look at this subject. How these two aspects are interconnected, and sometimes they overlap with each other.

1. External aspect or appearance

2. aspect or symbolic meaning of the birds.

The external meaning is always identical. The Bird is always a bird. It has a universal meaning in different parts of the word. however, the symbolic or inner meaning of the Bird changes in different cultures and times.

1. External aspect or appearance That indicates more with science, biology, geology, etc., it is universal. The Bird represents one purpose, whether it is in Africa, Japan, or Italy. It has the same meaning in different times .bird always means one thing, whether in 1980 or 2021 or 1945.

This aspect gives us an understanding of what birds are through studies of the evolution of the birds and learning how they live and their behavior.

The outcome of this view made many contributions to human life, like Flying and the invention of airplanes and helicopters. Thus, Flying became a part of our regular life.

Birds inspired many scientists and thinkers to understand the concepts and dynamics of Flying.



For instance, Leonardo da Vinci was fascinated by the aspect of flight, developing research on birds, including his c. 1505 Codex on the Flight of Birds and designs for various flying machines, including a helicopter and a light hang glider.



2. What Symbolic or inner meaning and meaning of the Bird.

To understand the symbolic meaning of birds, we should dive into the art and culture, mythology, history, and religions. The representation of the birds alters regarding culture, history, and religion.

To discover the birds' inner meaning (symbolic), we should study birds in mythology, religions, literature, artifacts, and architecture. Thus, it requires cultural studies, Linguistics studies, literature research, Archeology, etc. this meaning changed based on time and space (location), so it doesn't have a universal definition, and it is not the same for everyone.

Birds are symbolic of spirituality in so many religions. They represent the holy spirit, and they are sometimes are a part of God, like hybrid human hybrid birds.



In Christian Iconography, a dove also signifies the Holy Spirit, referencing Matthew 3:16 and Luke 3:22, where the Holy Spirit related to a dove at the Baptism of Jesus.

Illustration of Matthew 6:26: the believer looks at the birds in the sky, that do not reap nor gather into the barns, and trust that the Father will provide. Print by Christoffel van Sichem (1629).


In Hinduism, birds are associated with spiritual bliss, freedom, insight, and wholesomeness.

Garuda is a supernatural eagle-like sun bird and the King of birds. In addition, a Garutman stated in the Rigveda, who described as heavenly deva with wings. Hindu culture contributes broad examples of such avian symbolism.


This Human birds god has appeared in Egyptian culture.

Ancient Egyptians worshiped the ibis bird as the God Thoth, held for supporting the universe, judging the dead, and commanding magic, writing, and science systems.

Horus, the falcon-headed God, is a well-known ancient Egyptian god. Horus is the son of Osiris and Isis, the divine child of the holy family triad.

These hydrations of humans and birds have been seen in so many cultures and civilizations, and religions.






Farvahar, in Zoroastrianism, is a hybrid of Human and Bird, representing The phrase "Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds."

In the Persian culture, Birds are significant, and they appeared in architecture on Persepolis columns, painting in Golo Morgh ( Flower and Bird ), and poetry Simorgh.


One of the great examples of birds in poetry is The Conference of the Birds or Speech of the Birds(منطق الطیر). Persian poem by Sufi poet Farid ud-Din Attar, as known as Attar of Nishapur. It concentrates on the spiritual journey that a self has to begin to reach unity with God. The journey has seven valleys or steps. The Valleys of Quest, Love, Understanding, Independence and Detachment, Unity, Astonishment and Bewilderment, and Deprivation and Death.



In this poem, Attar used birds as individuals, and each Bird, based on their metaphor, has their character and understanding of the journey.

In this poem, all the birds worldwide came together to find the King of birds Simorgh, god, and the wises bird Hoopoe led them to go through these seven valleys.



In 2017 Iranian artist Keyvan Shovir made an art installation titled Simorgh based on the conference of the birds of Sufi poet Farid ud-Din Attar.

is a multi-sound and sculptural installation created from thirty hand and machine-made birdhouses and thirty speakers, installed in a space with a spiral layout. The juxtaposition of these thirty pieces in the space unifies them and references to the Simorgh, which in Farsi mean thirty birds. Sounds of the birds are referenced to specific the birds in the conference of the Bird's poem.






Audiences have to walk through the spiral path. The path is narrow that only one person can experience the pice. Once they step into the installation, they have to be aware of their bodies and walk carefully not to hit any pieces.

The spiral layout represents a spiritual journey and a journey into self.

It is narrow. It also referred to the birds' conference when Birds asked Hoopoe to see the Simorgh, and Hoopoe said, "the journey is long and hard."

In self-discovery, the first thing you notice is your body. For instance, in meditation, you will get to the meditative state by focusing on your breath. It is also infused with the hidden laws of gallery visiting. Do not touch the artwork, be aware of your body when you are in the museum or galleries.




With technology, the meaning of the Bird is changing. Drones and aircraft are indicating with the Bird.

But also, Human activity and technology are causing climate change and destroying nature, birds, and other animals—for example, seabirds. Over 1 million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals are killed by ocean plastic every year.


When seabirds come in touch with crude oil floating on the water's surface, causing they become smothered with oil, and this can cause immediate death by suffocation.

The position of the birds has been changed through time. It came from venerability to Destruction. An ancient god became a modern-day pet to fill filed modern human emotional needs. And the question is, what is our contribution to the birds?




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