Monday, March 19, 2012

My Love Affair With Roosters

I have decided that my love of rooster art is a disease. I think I caught from my grandmother and great aunt Helen. Way back, when they would go antiquing they were always drawn to this folk art medium. I was with them lots of times so - happily - it infected me too! 

Rooster items add color and presence to any room. Their body form is fluid and softens hard lines. I started loving and collecting roosters without even knowing it, even before I was married.  I have had some so long I could not tell you when or where I got them.  I feel instant happiness when I see a pretty rooster item.

A stone clucker seen at Sleepy Poet Antique Mall

Besides being a decor assessory now, roosters were - - and are - - an important part of rural life.  The crow of the rooster begins every farm day. It has been the natural alarm clock for millenia.

Plus, if a farm had a rooster and a layer hen, the farmer and family would never starve.

Lennox rooster who rules one of my china cabinets.

Roosters get a bad rap for being mean;  however you want a fairly mean rooster to keep your hens safe.  Foxes, raccoons, snakes and other egg loving predators are quickly deterred by a protectful rooster.

Color, color, color. Brighten a room with this rooster seen at Sleepy Poet.

Our fine-feathered friend also has a rich symbolism.  Rooster symbol meanings are all about fanning out with brilliance, and showing the world the shimmering facets of their (and your) personality.

Most cultures embrace the rooster as a sun symbol and a sign of illumination. Some cultures however, inscribe the Rooster with underworld meanings. Specifically, the cock served as a messenger of the Underworld, screeching out warnings in danger, and calling out for the souls of the fallen in battle. 

Another china rooster atop a corner china cabinet. I think he looks lonely
but I'm not sure how to finish this corner.

Roosters are also associated with:
  • Pride
  • Honesty
  • Courage
  • Vigilance
  • Arrogance
  • Strength
  • Watchfulness
  • Flamboyance

The Greeks believed the rooster saluted the sun every morning with a hearty cry, symbolizing victory over night.

A trio of boys at Sleepy Poet.

In the New Testament, the rooster or cock is noted for crowing three times while St. Peter denied Christ. As such, it became a symbol for Christ’s passion.  And later it came to symbolize the repentance of St. Peter and religious vigilance as well as resurrection.

To this day the rooster seen on a weathervane is steeped in symbolic meanings that deal with watchful vigilance against evil. Rooster weathervanes are commonly seen atop churches, homes and barns.

In the Chinese zodiac, the cock is a symbol of honesty, as well as physical and moral fortitude. It signifies fortune, luck, fidelity, protection as well as bossiness.

Rooster serving as backsplash to my stove.

The bossiness part is right up my alley.

Japanese Shinto followers consider roosters sacred and they are permitted to run free amongst their temples. 

Today in Key West, Florida, roosters can also be seen walking freely amongst yards in Old Town. That is because roosters love termites and can eat several thousand a day. With termites a constant pest in tropical areas, roosters are a valuable and natural termite control.  

I hope you enjoyed this trip around rooster lore and some of my favorite rooster items. 

Do you have a favorite motif or folk art item? 

What does it signify to you and to others?

Please share with your comment to this post.  I will read and respond to all! 

Have a scratchy day!

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