Tiger Rugs and The History of the Tiger Symbol
The tiger has always been a significant part of Oriental culture. Throughout history, the tiger has symbolized strength and power. It has also been admired for its beauty and respected for the danger it poses to humans. Tigers can be found in countries such as Bangladesh, Vietnam, Cambodia, India, China, etc. This is why they are so heavily depicted in the historical cultures of these regions.
In Chinese culture, the tiger is considered the ruler of the animal kingdom. It has inspired ancient Chinese cultures to create many different art forms throughout the years. The tiger is often depicted protecting people from danger. Many early art forms depicting tigers have been found including art created during the Zhou Dynasty (1046-256 B.C.).
Tigers were also very popular in art during the Han Dynasty (206 B.C- A.D. 220). During these periods, the tiger was often depicted alongside dragons. This is because they were seen as opposites that balanced each other due to the fact that dragons are imaginary while tigers are not.
The way that tigers are stylized in art depends on the place the art originated. For example, tiger designs in paintings originating in China feature realistic stripes with detailed strands of hair. Whereas the tiger design art originating in Korea will generally feature simple black ink lines for stripes. Since Tigers did not inhabit Japan, the Japanese art depicting tigers tend to be less realistic and painted from the imagination or based on imagery that was provided from books.
The tiger also has cultural significance in many other regions, including India. In India, the tiger is considered the national animal. It represents similar qualities as in Asian culture, such as wit, endurance, and power. The tiger population in India was dwindling so, it was important that they were declared the national animal in order to protect the species.
A thousand years ago, tigers were able to roam throughout Asia freely. People came across them quite frequently. This is part of the reason they became so ingrained in Asian history and folklore. However, tigers have also played an important role in Western culture and throughout the world. They have been featured in various films, books, and stories.
The tiger has always been symbolized in a manner that depicts respect. Also, many historical coats of arms throughout the world include a tiger symbol due to its strength and loyalty. They were included in the coats of arms because these were the characteristics that these groups wished to uphold. The tiger design / symbol has a lot of significant history but is still used in present day in many logos, symbols, and mascots.
Naturally, the tiger design is depicted in many Asian rugs. These antique tiger rugs, have, over the years, become some of the more collectible rugs.