Peacocks are important symbols all over the world and throughout history. Prominent in many cultures, the peacock has been used in numerous iconic representations. In a general sense peacocks are a symbol of openness and acceptance.

In Christianity the peacock is a symbol of immortality, resurrection and renewal. Known as Mayura in Sanskrit, it has enjoyed a fabled place in India and is frequently depicted in temple art, mythology, poetry, folk-music and traditions. In Buddhist philosophy, the peacock represents wisdom. In Hinduism the Peacock is associated with Lakshmi who is a deity representing benevolence, patience, kindness, compassion and good luck. Similar to Lakshmi, the Peacock is associated with Kwan-yin in Asian spirituality. Kwan-yin (or Quan Yin) is also an emblem of love, compassionate watchfulness, good-will, nurturing, and kind-heartedness. The main figure of the Kurdish religion Yezidism, Melek Taus, is most commonly depicted as a peacock.

Peacock feathers are used in many rituals and ornamentation. Peacock motifs are widespread in Indian temple architecture, old coinage, textiles and continue to be used in many modern items of art and utility. In Greco-Roman mythology the origin of the peacock’s plumage is explained in the tale of Hera (Juno) who created the Peacock from Argus whose hundred eyes (seen on the tail feathers of the Peacock) symbolize the vault of heaven and the “eyes” of the stars.

The peacock is much admired for the special beauty of its plumage, and is a symbol of integrity and the beauty we can achieve when we endeavour to show our true colours. Known as ‘the bird of 100 eyes’ the eyes on the peacock’s feathers are considered “all seeing”. All of which adds up to a great source of inspiration for any writer or artist.

The symbol is exceptionally appropriate to an international project focusing on reviving and presenting memories of childhood and lives lived in many different ways.?

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