Guest Author - Lisa Shea
The white dove has been the symbol of peace and hope for thousands of years. How has this innocent white bird struck such a chord with humanity?
Doves mate for life, are incredibly loyal to each other and work together to build their nest and raise their young. Because they tend to nest in areas that humans can watch, people picked up quickly on the idea that doves were dedicated, honorable and peaceful.
While hawks and other birds of prey would violently attack their neighbors, the dove was a bird of peace, eating seeds, easily trained to eat out of the hand or to become domesticated.
Beginning with the Egyptians, the dove was as symbol of quiet innocence. The Chinese felt the dove was a symbol of peace and long life.
To early Greeks and Romans, doves represented love and devotion, and care for a family. The dove was the sacred animal of Aphrodite and Venus, the goddesses of love. The dove also symbolized the peaceful soul for many cultures.
The Bible continued this symbolism, often referring to the dove as an animal representing love, loyalty, fidelity and honesty. The dove is entrusted with the olive branch when Noah hopes to find a new home for himself and his flock. The dove often also represents the Holy Spirit.
Picasso popularized doves again in the 1950s. When WW2 ended, he was asked to create an image for the Peace Conference and he chose the Dove of Peace. This became an instant hit and he continued to portray doves for many years.
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