!KW ARAB., GR. Muzak, MALAY., JAV.
Pea-fowl, . . ENG. To-gei, . . . . MALEAL.
Paon, FR. ManUra, SANSK., JAV.
Pfau, GER. Sikhin, . . „ Tukeyiun, . HEB. Tokei, . . . . SINGH.
Tukbi-im, . . Mail TAIL Pavo, 1.AT. Tawass-kushu, . . TORE.
There are three species of pea-fowl known in India, Pavo cristatus, P. Japonensis, and P. muticus, Linn., the former of British India ; the latter is from Assam to the Malay Peninsula, Java, and Sumatra, and has never been domesticated by the natives of the Archipelago. P. cristatus and P. muticus are wild species ; and Mr. Sclater has lately named P. nigripennis, but its country is unknown. Peacocks are called in Hebrew, Tuklii im ; and the name still used on the coast of Malabar is To-gei, which in turn has been derived from the Sanskrit Sikhin, meaning crested. In many parts of India they live in a semi-domestic state in and about the villages. The peacock is said to have been introduced to Europe by Alexander the Great. Pea-fowl were so rare in Greece, that a male and female were valued at Athens at a thousand drachmae, or .£32, 5s. 10d. Samos possibly was the next place they were known at, where they were preserved about the temple of Juno, being a bird sacred to that goddess. But their use was afterwards permitted to mortals, for Gellius, in his Noctes Alticai (c. 16), com mends the excellency of the Samian peacocks. They were, however, known in Judea many years before the days of Alexander, and are noticed, with apes, in 1 kings x. 22, 2 Chronicles ix. 21, the words translated being found in the Sanskrit.
The peacock was a favourite armorial emblem of the Rajput warrior ; it is the bird sacred to their Mars (Kumara), as it was to Juno, his mother, in the west. The feather of the peacock is used to decorate the turban of the Rajput, as that of the warrior of the Crusade, adopted froni the Hindu through the Saracens. 'Le paon a toujours 4t6 l'embleme de la noblesse. Plusieurs chevaliers avalent !curs calques des plumes do cot olseau, un grand nombre de families nobles le portaient dans lour blazon ou sur lour cinder, quelques ens u'en portaient quo Is queue.' A bunch of peacock's feathers is still the implement of conjuring, and is carried by mendicants in India who pretend to skill in magic • it is aspecially borne about by Jaina vagrants. The peacock enters into the Hindu mythology. Siva, for the amusement of Parvati, his bride, originated a particular dance, to the musical accompaniment of the tabor, struck by his attendant Nandi. His
sons were present,—Kartikeya, mounted on his peacock, and Ganesa with the head and trunk of an elephant. Siva is embellished with a collar of the hooded snake twining round his neck and surmounting his head. The peacock is supposed to be particularly delighted by the approach of the rainy season ; and the bird of Kartikeya, mistaking the deep sound of the drum for the rolling of thunder indicative of a storm, screams with delight. The peacock is considered the natural enemy of snakes ; and the snake of Siva, alarmed at the approach of his mortal foe, deserts his place on the neck of the deity, and makes for the first hiding-place he can find. This happens to be the tip of Ganesa's elephant trunk, his entrance into which disturbs the bees that are supposed to settle on the temples of an elephant. The European fable of the jackdaw borrowing the plumage of the peacock, has its counterpart in Ceylon, where the popular legend runs that the pea-fowl stole the plumage of a bird called by the natives Avitchia. This bird utters a cry resem bling the word Matkiang 1 which in Stnghalese means, will complain.' This they believe is addressed by the bird to the rising of the sun, imploring redress for its wrongs. The Avitchia is described as somewhat less than a crow, the colours of its plumage being green mingled with red. The wild pea-fowl of the jungles is a good bird for the table, and when young is no despicable food.
The throne of Shah Jahan was in the form of a peacock with a spread tail, and is famed in history as the Peacock Throne, which Nadir Shah carried off from the sack of Dehli. The colours of the tail were represented in natural colours by sapphires, emeralds, rubies, and ot her appropriate gems, which formed the chief ornament of a mass of diamonds and precious stones that dunned every beholder. Tavernier, a jeweller by profession, mentions the common belief that it cost 160,500,000 livres, nearly six millions and a half sterling. But the author of the Nadir Namah only names two millions, and Scott only one million sterling.— Elphinstone, p. 530 ; Crawfurds ; Darwin, Origin of Species; .fuller's Lectures, p. 190 ; 7'od's Rajasthan, i. p. 137 ; Hind. Thtat. ii. pp. 10, 306 ; Tennant's Nat. Mist. p. 244 ; Poison?: Ilindoostan, i. 211. See Pavoninre ; Sacti ; Vahan.