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Magpies and the beautiful carpet of purple petals from Jacaranda trees are a common sight in Australian backyards, but interestingly in this etching “The Gathering Under the Jacaranda Tree” , Elisabeth Lawrence draws inspiration too from an Amazonia legend about the significance of the Jacaranda tree.
“According to an Amazon legend, a beautiful bird named Mitu landed atop a Jacaranda tree bringing with him a lovely woman. The woman, who was actually a priestess of the moon, descended from the tree and lived among the villagers, sharing with them her knowledge and ethics. Having fulfilled her mission, she returned back to the tree adorned in Jacaranda blooms and ascended to the heavens where she united with her soul mate, the son of the sun.”
Magpies in groups often seem to be in deep conversation as if they have secret business going on and are sharing knowledge. The jacaranda tree is also sometimes called the ‘tree of knowledge’. It is for this reason many educational institutions in Australia such as schools and universities have prominently planted Jacaranda trees. It comes as a warning to students to start studying for their exams.
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