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Friday Essay: Rare Birds

Black Swan is Australian iconThe official Western Australian emblem on the state flag and coat of arms decorates several public buildings. The bird is also the name of the Swan River in Perth, where the British founded the Swan River Colony in 1829.

Portraits of swans can be found on stamps, sports team uniforms, and the Swan Brewery logo. Goonininup On the banks of swans.

But this postcolonial history hides a much older and broader story. Not only is the Black Swan important to many Aboriginal people, it was also a powerful symbol of the 1500-year-old European imagination that Europeans knew it existed.

Native to australia, Black swan Or Cygnusatratus can be found throughout the mainland, except on the Cape York Peninsula. Population has also been introduced in New Zealand, Japan, China, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Currently, the breeding season for black swan is in full swing in southern Australia and has recently ended in the north.In waterways and swamps, people see pairs of swans-a quarter of them Homosexual -Watch out for their signets and see off potential threats with elaborate things Victory ritualOr glide gracefully over the water and the black feathers glisten in the winter sun.

But once upon a time, in remote lands, such birds were said to be rare or even imaginary.

Impossible black swan

Roman satirist in the 1st century AD Juvenal He called his good wife “a rare bird on earth, like a black swan.”

Aside from casual misogyny, this is an example Adynaton, An expression that expresses absurdity or absurdity, such as a pig flying or bleeding from a stone.

read more: Guide to Classics: Juvenal, a true Roman satirist

Over the centuries, versions of the phrases “Black Swan” and “Rare Bird” have become commonplace in some European languages, explaining something that goes against belief. The expression makes sense, as Europeans have assumed that all swans are white, based on their observations.

Almost as soon as Juvenal created these phrases, Ptolemy map Of the world including Unknown South Continent, Terra Australis Incognita.Many believed that this distant Southland was inhabited monster Great race like antipodes, Imagine According to Cicero as “a man planting his feet directly opposite your feet”.

In the strangeness of history, both the impossible Black Swan and the fictional Southland were actually real. Even more incredibly, they are found in the same geographic coordinates.

When they turn white

Black swan is important totem Built into songlines and constellations (where they are called) for many Aboriginal people Gnibi, Ginibi, or Gineevee).

Still Noonger Washington people, and Yuin And Euahlayi Tell the story of an ancestor about a white swan, most of its feathers torn by an eagle, in New South Wales.

In Noonger’s story, the swan Mari is proud of its beauty, and its white feathers are torn as punishment by the eagle Waarichi. In Yuin’s story, the swan Gunuyu is humbly and quietly attacked because other birds are jealous of his beauty.

And in the story of Euahlayi, two brothers transform into swans. Byahmul, As part of the robbery. After that, they are attacked by an eagle as an act of revenge.

In each story, after the swan tears the white feathers, the crow releases the feather cascade, blackening the swan except for the white wingtips. Their red beak still shows blood from the attack.

These stories sharply observe and explain the colors of black swan. They admit that swans can be white-although it is unlikely that First Nations people have observed white swans around them before the British settled.

This is in stark contrast to the European assumption that it probably couldn’t exist because I’ve never seen a Black Swan.

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From myth to wonder

When Dutch ships began to visit Australia’s west coastline in the 1600s, European assumptions were destined to collapse. Seeing the mythical black swan physically must have been like seeing a unicorn emerge from the shadows of the forest.

1636, Dutch sailor Antony Khan Observed A black bird “as big as a swan” in the waters off Bernier Island-probably the first recorded European sighting.

1697 Expedition to the West Coast of Willem de Vramin Witness There are many swans in what they called the Swarte Swaane Drift or Black Swan River. The Nounger people know this river as Durbar Jerigan. If de Vlamingh was surprised to see the black swan, he didn’t record it. Attention, “They are pretty black.” Three swans were captured and taken to Batavia (Jakarta), but died before being brought to Europe.

Report Part of the Black Swan returned to the Netherlands and then to England, but it took another century for its mythical status to disappear altogether.

British ornithologist John Latham Gave Black Swan was the first scientific name in 1790, Anas atrata. Still, knowledge about its existence was not yet widespread.

In 1792, Jacques Labyraldiere, a botanist on the Bruni Dentrecast expedition, I took notes The swarm of black swan in Recherche Bay, Tasmania, seems unaware that it is already known to Europeans.

In 1804, Nicolas Baudin’s expedition brought the first living specimens to Europe.These became part of Empress Josephine Bonaparte Garden Menagery At Malmaison Castle.

The Black Swan traveled from myth to the end of reality, joining kangaroos and platypus as an awe-inspiring wonder from the distant topsy-filled Southland.

Good vs. evil

Black swan did not establish a large population in the wild after being brought to Europe.that is Guess This is because black animals have allied with witches and demons and are considered bad signs and are often driven away or killed.

Beliefs like these reflect ancient assumptions that can be found everywhere. Dead Sea Scrolls To Star Wars, Its darkness and color black represent evil and corruption, and its light and color white represent goodness and purity.

Frantz Fanon once Insisted The “colonial world Manichaeism A world where light and darkness, white and black, and good and evil are clearly separated. ” These divisions are deeply involved in the history of colonialism and racism and often have catastrophic consequences.

2 swan, 1 dancer

The iconic contrast of light and darkness stands out in Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s most famous ballet, Swan Lake. Prince Siegfried falls in love with Odette, an innocent and noble white swan. But he is deceived and promises himself to her double, seductive and malicious Odile.

The story of ballet Inspired Depicted by the long tradition of European fairy tales Swan MaidenHowever, Tchaikovsky was also reported Inspired By the life of Ludwig II of Bavaria, known as the King of Swans.Both Ludwig II And Tchaikovsky Trapped between the social pressure to get married and their own homosexual desire.

The roles of Odette and Odile are often played by the same ballerina. Tradition It began in 1895, two years after Tchaikovsky’s death.But it is Until 1941 That Odile was the first Is drawn He wore black and later became known as the Black Swan.

Swan Lake suggests a Manichaeist worldview that good and evil are the exact opposite, as Europe is as far away from the antipodes. By having the same ballerina play both roles, ballet also suggests that the world is not that simple-things can be black or white, or both at the same time.

Fake black swan

For 1500 years, Europeans were brilliantly wrong about Black Swan.When its existence is accepted, the transformation from myth to reality Metaphor Within the philosophy of science. Black Swan has shown the difficulty of making broad claims based on observable evidence.

Austrian philosopher Karl Popper used the Black Swan in 1959 explain The difference between science that can be verified and science that can be tampered with.

It is virtually impossible to make sure that all swans are white. Because all swans need to be evaluated. Still, one black swan can disprove the theory. 2007, essayist and mathematical statistician Nassim Nicholas Taleb Insisted Organizations and individuals need to be robust enough to deal with “black swan events.” This is a consequent but unexpected historical moment.

read more: Friday’s Essay: A long history of warrior turtles, from ancient myths to warships and teenage mutants

White Black Swan

Those who enjoy the sight of black swans and their signets this winter in Australia may assume that all Australian native swans are black, based on observable evidence. But as the black swan shows, and as Taleb claims, we need to anticipate the unexpected.

About four centuries, Tasmanian fisherman Jake Hume rescued after Europeans were in awe of the sight of black swans in our oceans last month. Swan swan, The only one known to exist.

Swans are not albino because they still have pigmentation around their beaks and eyes. Its white feathers are the expression of a rare gene mutation. The first birds witnessed in the area in 2007 were found to be full of shotgun pellets.is recovery Until you’re ready for release at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary.

The “rare bird” that breaks this assumption, with black swan, white swan, and metaphor at the same time, captures the complex cultural history surrounding this species.

Author: David Haworth-Senior Principal Investigator, Monash University



Friday Essay: Rare Birds

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