5 Myths About Crane Birds Which Are Adopted From Their Habits
1. Crane Dance
In northern Hokkaidō, Japan, there is a Crane Dance which is inspired by mating dance of crane birds and performed by the women of Ainu people since 1908. So does in Korea, the Crane Dance has been performed in the Tongdosa Temple since 646 CE. So, yes. It has been there from such a very long time. The mating crane bird also inspires Valmiki, a well known Sanskrit epic poet to write the first sloka couplet. The dance of cranes also used to be portrayed as a celebration of life and a love of joy in Green and Roman myths. So they were often associated with Appolo and also Hephaestus.
2. Symbol of Goddesses, Omen Bird, Heraldry
Far away from there, the three chief goddesses of Mecca, in pre-Islamic South Arabia which are Allat, Uzza, and Manat, used to be called “the three exalted cranes”.
Geranos family name is derived from Greek. There are many symbols of Crane in Greek culture. The Crane was knowns as a bird of omen. In the tale of the poet of sixth century BCE, Ibycus, thief attacked him and left him for dead. Ibycus called a flock of passing cranes, then the cranes followed and hovered the attacker until he confessed to the crime.
A well-known Roman author and philosopher, Pliny the Elder, once told a story about a group of crane with one of them stay guard while the other asleep. This guardian crane would hold a stone with its claws so whenever it suddenly fell asleep, the stone would drop and wake it up. This crane holding a stone then became the symbol in heraldry and known as a crane in its vigilance.
3. Graceful Movement as Kung Fu
Crane Birds movement in the wild is fluid and graceful. It was also inspired Kung Fu movement and from there, born the most famous style of fighting which are Wing Chun, Hug Gar (or tiger crane), and last one you probably recognize the name from a famous panda cartoon; The Shaolin Five Animals.
4. Migration Habit
As one of a migratory bird, Crane migration is also recorded in Aristotle’s History of Animals. They fight with Pygmies as they wintered near the Nile river. Aristotle describes the cranes carries a touchstone inside it as a test for gold when vomited up.
5. Symbol of Youth, Peace, and 1000 Origami Wish Granted
In Asia, the crane is a symbol of eternal youth and happiness. In Japan for specific, crane bird is a holy and mystical creature, besides tortoise and dragon, and also symbolizes a good fortune because of crane’s fabled life span of many years.
One of the popular origami or paper folding art in Japan is a crane bird. The ancient Japanese myth believed that if we are able to make a thousand origami crane birds, our wishes will be grated by a crane!
There is a story about a Japanese schoolgirl, suffering from leukemia as an impact from Hiroshima bombing. Knowing she was dying soon, she insisted on making thousand of origami crane bird before her death. Along with the crane bird, she became known as a symbol of peace and the innocent victim of war, especially World War II.
That’s all myths about crane birds which are adopted from their habits such as their graceful movement, migration, and their elaborate dance. Sadly, this gorgeous bird is now classified as a threatened or endangered bird. Their number is decreasing due to habitat loss and human activities such as hunting.