Friday, August 26, 2011

Photohunters: Symbolic

The dogwood tree is symbolic in a number of different legends.
One Native American legend says that a princess, who was killed by a suitor she refused, used dogwood petals to clean blood from her wounds as she lay dying. The red marks on dogwoods symbolizes her blood. Source Here
In Cherokee legends there are little people who are a race of spirits and one of these is the dogwood people. The little people are here to teach lessons about living in harmony with nature and other people.
The dogwood people are good and take care of people. (Source on little people). Some of the other little people are more mischievous.
I grew up with Christian legends about the dogwood and how it symbolizes the crucifixion. What I recalled from my childhood was that Christ was crucified on a cross made from a dogwood. In refreshing my memory, I found that there are legends saying that the dogwood was once as big as oak trees but that it was shamed to be used for such a bad purpose. According to that legend, Jesus, comforting the dogwood tree, told it that it would forever after be too small to be used that way and that its flowers would be formed like a cross. Source for this legend.
Another legend doesn't show the dogwood in a good light but instead God punished it and made it forever small and twisted after the crucifixion. (source for second legend). I must say I don't care for the second Christian legend and much prefer the first. I always grew up thinking the dogwood was special in good ways so I'm sure it was some variation of the first legend I heard as a child. I also ran across some sites mentioning pink dogwoods symbolizing the blood of Christ.
I ran across so many ways in which the dogwood is symbolic doing fast research that I only touched on a few. Click for the home of photohunters.


MaR said...

How interesting, Carver, I didn't know about symbolic doogwood trees! love your post and pictures. Happy hunting and happy weekend!


Sue said...

What a fascinating read! I did not know many of these legends and mythos surrounding Dogwood, but have always admired their beauty :) Happy weekend and thank you for the lesson in folklore I love reading up on stuff like this :) Great pics too!

Judy said...

That is interesting Carver...I love dogwoods, they're so pretty.

LifeRamblings said...

such fascinating legends. the dogwood trees are gorgeous. great take on the theme.

Annie said...

I knew the Christian legends but not the Native American ones. Very cool. Love your photos. I think they are special trees too. And aren't they the state tree of NC? So I guess they are symbolic of North Carolina too.

Have a good weekend and let's hope Irene goes easy on us!

Anonymous said...

Wow, fascinating legends. I must say I didn't know this about this enchanting dogwood.

I must add my thanks for the education here.

Happy weekend. I hope you're not in the hurricane's way, if you are, hope you and your loved ones will be safe.

Liz said...

I enjoyed reading the post. The dogwood truly is an interesting tree.

Have a fabulous weekend.

Liz @ MLC

jams o donnell said...

What a great read. I had no idea about the legends associated with the dogwood. Thanks for sharing!

Maude Lynn said...

Gorgeous pictures! I especially like the first one.

ancient one said...

I knew of the religious reference, but not of the native american references. Your photos of the dogwoods are stunning.

YTSL said...

Hi Carver --

Very interesting Photo Hunt entry. It's amazing how many legends involve the dogwood and also how different cultures see symbolic significance in its leaves, etc.

Anneke (Mudhooks) said...

I'd never heard these tales about the Dogwood. I do love Dogwood but it is pretty rare to see in our part of the continent...

rdl said...

interesting and lovely photos!!

Alice Audrey said...

Great take on the theme, and - as always - fantastic photography.

Vicki said...

The Dogwood is beautiful!
Here's My Photo

Self Sagacity said...

Okay, I love how those colors from the trees intertwined. Very pretty.
BTW- Thanks for the compliment on my
macro flower shots.