Thursday, April 19, 2012

Qilin (ch'i-lin)

In Chinese mythology the qilin's  rare appearance often coincided with the imminent birth or death of a sage or illustrious ruler.

 A qilin has a single horn on its forehead, a yellow belly, a multicolored back, the hooves of a horse, the body of a deer, and the tail of an ox. Gentle of disposition, it never walks on verdant grass or eats living vegetation.

 In 1414 a live giraffe was brought to China for the first time and presented as a qilin to the Ming emperor Yongle. The tough old warrior, seeing through the intended flattery, curtly remarked that he certainly was no sage and the animal was certainly no qilin.

Qilin....Giraffe... Easy mistake.

Though the description does kind of sound like a giraffe...
Ya know if you didn't have the statue to look at.


  1. I think I like the giraffe best.

  2. I'm torn. Giraffe's are so cute. But the Qilin would be cool to see. Ya know if it wasn't a dark night and you weren't a sage or an ilustrious leader.

  3. Easy mistake? I suppose... I don't think a giraffe would look as frightening as the Quilin seems to be though so that may have been the bigger giveaway. Plus there has to be some sort of "event" right?

    1. Yep. They only appear when someone of impot is going to be born or die... having one wandering around all the time would just be creepy. ;)