Alphabeastiary is

an advanced art challenge. While we encourage people to do the challenge on their own, we will only post pictures of those we feel are of an excellent quality in terms of skill and/or creativity. If you feel you are qualified, please read the rules to find out how this blog will work and how to apply and e-mail us your applications and submissions! We will put them up as we receive them.

Jan 16, 2011

F- Firebird

Russian Firebird
Egyptian Firebird Bennu Traditional Greek Phoenix
Persian Sculpture of a Huma (Homa)
It seems that some creatures share a strange universal popularity that is borderline spooky. The Firebird (more commonly known as the Phoenix) our creature for the letter F is one such mythological creature. Versions of the Firebird appear in stories and legends from all around the world. All firebirds usually have the following traits...

1.Bright colorful plumage and fairly large size.
2. Long life
3. Death by spontaneous combustion
4. Rebirth out of the ashes

In ancient Egypt the firebird was called Bennu and was born from the fire of a holy tree in the temple of Ra. Some other names given to Bennu include “He Who Came Into Being by Himself,” “The Ascending One,” and my personal favorite “Lord of Jubilees.” In appearance Bennu resembled a large Heron

In Persian mythology the firebird is called Huma (or Homa) and flies endlessly over the desert causing burning winds and sandstorms wherever he travels (in some versions of his story Huma lacks legs). His touch is considered auspicious and it is said that even seeing its shadow can guarantee you a long happy life. Like all Firebird myths the Huma consumes itself every 100 years or so. It is reborn from its ashes to start its journey over the desert all over again.

In Russian folklore the Firebird is often the subject of a quest a great hero must embark upon to win a princess. The descriptions of it often compare it to a peacock that glows with a light like fire. Its feathers are priceless and its song can either lull you to sleep or predict your death (depending on the fairy tale)

Perhaps most famously Greek folklore (which was originally adapted from a Phoenician myth) describles the Firebird (or Phoenix) as a spirit of fire that can live for almost 1000 years before it burns and is born again from its own charred remains. Descriptions of it range from it being gold or scarlet to purple blue and green.

There are many many different styles and variations of the Firebird. which has appeared in literature and art as far away as China. Its power of rebirth and rejuvenation is something that people today still use as a symbol for rising strong out of adversity.

This is due midnight Jan 23rd!

2 Comments:

Evan Jensen said...

Shouldn't that due date read "Jan 30" for it to be two weeks?

Toby said...

You're right, I don't know how I managed to fail that hard. I'll make a post on this.

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