|Cicada and Lychee|
an original Chinese Brush Painting
by Margaret Koai
Used with her generous permission
This blog post was originally written in 2013. The link below will take you to
the latest information on the reemergence of cicadas in 2021.
The cicadas are reemerging along the East Coast in the United States after seventeen; years. It is estimated there will be a billions swarming and flying around from mid to late May and they will be with us for approximately four to six weeks.
The picture to the left is by the talented Margaret Koai,
who studied the art of Chinese Brush Painting under a skilled master, Rong Tian
Chi. She graciously gave me permission to use her lovely painting for this blog
post and shared this background on the painting.
"The buzzing sound of the cicada when spoken is a very similar sound to a Mandarin word which means "a deep understanding or wisdom". Lychee spoken in Mandarin also has a "story". The spoken "Ly" means profitable, good luck, money or beneficial so it is a very good word! Almost all Traditional Chinese Brush Paintings have an intricate story hidden within its content.”
There is an ancient Italian myth which suggests that once there were no cicadas, then one day there was born on the earth a beautiful, good and very talented woman whose singing was so wonderful it even enchanted the gods.
When she died the world seemed so forlorn without the sweet sound of her singing that the gods allowed her to return to life every summer as the cicadas so that her singing could lift up the hearts of man and beast once again.
Below you will find stories that feature the cicada and more stories about other insects who visit us during the warmer months. But first, some interesting information about our winged friends, along with a video link so you can hear them shake their tymbals!
* Cicadas are related to crickets.
* The time from emergence to being able to fly is about 2-3 hours in larger species but can be as quick as 30 minutes in smaller ones.
* Cicadas nearly always sing from a position of rest.
* Cicadas were eaten in Ancient Greece, China, Malaya, Burma, Australia, North and South America and the Congo.
* Cicadas are mentioned in the Iliad by Homer about 10,000 BC. In the third book of the Iliad Homer compares the discourse of "sage chiefs exempt from war" to the song of the Cicada.
* In Japan the cicada is a symbol of reincarnation.
* In ancient Greece the cicada was sacred to Apollo the sun god.
* In some of the Maori folk law of New Zealand the cicada is known as "Bird of Rehua". Rehua is the lord of kindness and plenty which also perhaps reflects the cicadas summer emergence.
* In the Southwest desert of the US, the cicada outwitted the traditional trickster, the coyote, in Zuni mythology. It produced heat in Hopi mythology, heralding the arrival of summer, and it is “the patron of Hopi Flute societies in charge of both music and healing,” according to Stephen W. Hill, Kokopelli Ceremonies. The cicada played a key role as a scout and a conqueror in Navajo creation myths. It brought renewal and healing to other tribes.
The above information came from the following websites:
Coyote and Cicada – Zuni
Cicada – Laos
Cicada and the Ant
Cricket and the Sea – Guatemala
Cricket and Cougar – Native American
Butterflies Came to Be – Philippines
Fly Saved the River – Native American
Coyote and the Locust
Cricket’s Song – Guatemala
The Grasshopper and the Ant – Central Asia
The Grasshopper and the Toad - Africa
Insects that Wooed a Wifeless Man – Inuit/Native American
Lion and the Mosquito - Grimm
Old Woman Who Was Kind to Insects – Native American/Inuit
Queen Bee – Germany/Grimm
The Squirrel and the Spider – West Africa https://www.surlalunefairytales.com/books/africa/barker/squirrelspider.html
Wings of the Butterfly – Brazil
Why We See Ants Carrying Bundles Bigger Than Themselves
– West Africa
Jacket and the Ant – Native American
10 Cute and Crawly Insect Crafts for Kids
Seven Simple and Silly Bug Crafts
Crafts for Kids – Bugs and Insects Crafts
- The Cicada in China
Education – Music,
songs, rhymes, and fingerplays about bugs.
The Virgin Holy held the sea
in her embrace
Cradling Sikinos isle and Amorgos
and her other children
At the edge of time and weather
and from the far end of winters
I listened to the trumpet conch blow
As the Mermaids swam out
And I amid the sea urchins,
in sandy hollows, by the tamarisks
Like the mariners of old
asked the cicadas:
“My messenger cicadas
hey you, hello! And blessed be your time—
Is King Helios alive?”
and all answered in unison:
“Zi-zi zi-zi zi-zi zi-zi!
He’s -'s -'s-'s-'s-'s-'s-'s ALIVE! ”
Please note, websites change at a rapid pace and
weblinks may change or break without notice. I cannot be responsible
for redirected or broken links. At the time of this posting all links
were in working order. Thank you for understanding.
Please note, websites change at a rapid pace and weblinks may change or break without notice. I cannot be responsible for redirected or broken links. At the time of this posting all links were in working order. Thank you for understanding.