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popinjay

popinjay

The popinjay is the heraldic name for a parrot. In Hinduism, Kama, the god of love, is often depicted riding a beautiful parrot and in Indian culture, the bird is associated with love and fertility. In tropical countries more generally, the parrot is used to commemorate business or administrative achievement. Alexander the Great brought parrots from India to Greece in the third century BC. The birds were kept by the aristocracy and were considered sacred. Similarly, in ancient Rome parrots were luxuries for the wealthy, who not only kept them as pets but also ate them as a delicacy. This association between parrots and the upper classes continued into the European Middle Ages. In Chaco Canyon of the American Southwest, parrot remains indicate that the ancient Toltec people traded with Mexico. Famous parrot owners include Henry VIII of England, the Duchess of Rochmond and Lennox, and Marie Antoinette. Throughout history, the parrot is widely noted for its unique ability to imitate and speak.

fertility

In Indian culture, the parrot signifies fertility. Kama, the Hindu god of love, is often depicted riding a beautiful parrot as his mount.

prosperity

In tropical countries, the parrot is used to commemorate business or administrative achievement. Through the centuries, the bird has been kept by the affluent member of society. Evidence suggests that parrots were used in trade, by groups as diverse and pirates and the ancient Toltecs.

sovereignty

From ancient Greece and Rome to the European Middle Ages and beyond, parrots have been kept by the upper classes, the wealthy, and those in positions of power. Parrots are linked with famous people including Alexander the Great, Henry VIII of England, and Marie Antoinette.

Example of known uses of popinjay

The coat of arms of Baron Thweng

The coat of arms of Baron Thweng

The three green popinjays in the arms of Marmaduke Thweng, a 14th century English knight who fought in the wars of Scottish independence, symbolise his wealth and majesty. When Marmaduke's daughter Lucia married Robert de Lumley, the birds were incorporated into the Lumley family arms.

Sutton United Football Club

Sutton United Football Club

The popinjay perching at the top of this south London soccer club's badge is taken from the arms of the locally influential Lumley family. When the team's badge was adopted in the 1930s, it closely resembled the arms of the local town council.

Grocery

Grocery

A green parrot with a large beak and a red-and-white head is the logo of Fiesta, a grocery market in Texas catering to the Latino community.

Organizations

The Planned Parenthood organization uses a parrot logo.

Eiffel Tower Stationery

Did you know that parrots played an important role in WW I? Parrots were posted on top of the Eiffel Tower, and due to their incredible sense of hearing, they would warn of approaching enemy aircraft long before any human ear could hear them. An old logo of the Eiffel Tower showed a parrot on top of the tower.

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