Gallinule Symbolism & Which means (+Totem, Spirit & Omens)

Referred to as “moorhens” or “swamp chickens,” Gallinules are comparatively widespread marsh birds all through a lot of the Americas. Though a lot much less gregarious than a number of the different waterfowl with whom they share their habitats, Gallinules are nonetheless noticed by birders typically, due to their distinctive options, together with a white “racing stripe” and a shiny purple invoice with a purple “frontal protect” over elements of the face. To the uninitiated, the Gallinule could seem like a kind of mismatched hen. They wade like herons, step over the water and onto floating vegetation like rails, dabble like geese, resemble coots, however eat an omnivorous weight loss program which overlaps with many of those birds. In essence, the Gallinule is a swamp specialist.

As talked about above, these birds are able to stepping onto floating vegetation. That is due to their wideset toes which lack the webbing and lobes that waterfowl typically have. Gallinules commerce in a number of the swimming prowess that webbing gives in alternate for lengthy skinny toes which permit them to step onto comfortable mud or floating particles with out sinking. They’re nonetheless proficient swimmers, however this additional potential offers them the higher hand in marshy environments which are thick with mud and floating reeds. What’s extra, Gallinules should not solely able to dabbling, as geese do, however they’re completely outfitted for swimming and even occasional diving. (1)

Gallinule on Leaf
Picture by Shaueel Persadee on Unsplash

Culturally vital, particularly to the folks of Hawaii, the Gallinule is clearly a lot rather more than it seems to be. Lovely however unusual, Gallinules characterize the wild majesty of the shrinking wetlands and the unbelievable creatures that depend upon these habitats to reside and thrive. On this article, we’ll take a better have a look at the Gallinule in addition to the myths and legends surrounding this spectacular hen.

Gallinule Symbolism and Which means

The Gallinule represents the wetlands. Like so many different waterfowl and wading birds, the Gallinule is completely tailored to the richly biodiverse setting of wetland habitats. Though the Gallinule stays pretty widespread, it has nonetheless suffered from marked declines as wetland habitats have receded and disappeared. The Gallinule symbolizes the wonder and significance of the wetlands and the fascinating animals which depend on the continued preservation of those environments. (2)

Gallinules could characterize precociousness or preparedness. Gallinule chicks are capable of swim virtually instantly after hatching. They’re additionally born with spurs on their wings which assist them climb onto the vegetation that kinds Gallinule nests. Inside simply three weeks of hatching, most Gallinule chicks are able to find meals by themselves. So, the Gallinule could characterize resourcefulness, progress, or maturity. (3)(4)

Gallinule With Chicks
Picture by Joshua J. Cotten on Unsplash

Gallinules may additionally characterize household. Gallinules typically mate for all times and are recognized to kind cooperative bonds with their members of the family. Mom and daughter Gallinules could share nests and lift their younger in tandem. Moreover, younger Gallinules who haven’t but discovered a mate will typically keep close to their mother and father and help in rearing the subsequent era of little Gallinule siblings, even brooding or feeding new child chicks as wanted. So, the Gallinule could characterize cooperation, household, and help. They might symb6olize the mindset of “it takes a village.” (5)

Gallinules may additionally characterize the concept of specialization and using one’s strengths. Though they might look unusual, the Gallinule’s big toes with their lengthy spindly toes are completely tailored for dealing with the Gallinule’s particular wants and the marshy environments during which these birds are discovered. Thus, the Gallinule generally is a nice reminder to embrace one’s skills and be resourceful. Even when a expertise appears unusual or ineffective, the little methods during which we adapt to our circumstances typically find yourself changing into or best strengths.

Gallinule Native American Symbolism

Gallinules are shut family of coots, which they resemble fairly intently. Though they lack the odd lobed toes for which coots are recognized, Gallinules are in any other case fairly just like these duck-like waterfowl. Whereas I couldn’t discover a supply indicating a particular position for the Gallinule in Native American mythology, the coot has a fairly vital position in some variations of a quite common Native American fable. The coot is usually regarded as the titular “Earth-Diver” within the Earth-Diver fable. In accordance with this legend, the entire world was as soon as a primordial sea. Then, the creator seen some mud beneath the water. One after the other every of the animals have been requested to fetch some mud for the creator. In some variations, every animal refuses. In different variations, a number of animals strive however they every fail in flip. From the muskrat to the grebe to the coot, there are a choose few animals which tackle the position of “Earth-Diver” on this story. The coot, or whichever animal fills this position of their respective variations, is the one animal to efficiently fetch the mud. The creator fashions the mud into the earth and the coot is praised for its braveness and willpower. (6)

Gallinule Christianity Symbolism

The Gallinule is neither current within the Bible neither is it the topic of great biblical symbolism. Like all birds, although, it might be seen as a reminder of the present of creation and the extremely majesty of the pure world as set forth by God.

Gallinule Celtic Symbolism

Birds, in Celtic myths, are often linked with the concept of the supernatural Celtic “Otherworld.” The Otherworld may be very a lot related to transitions and so aquatic birds are particularly linked with this concept due to their potential to transition between the water and land.

Gallinule in Desires

Dreaming of a Gallinule could mirror one’s emotions in the direction of their household. Dreaming of a profitable Gallinule nest stuffed with chicks could point out that one feels supported, liked, and accepted.

Gallinule Feeding
Picture by Joshua J. Cotten on Unsplash

Dreaming of a lone Gallinule, or particularly a lone Gallinule chick, could point out a sense of abandonment or isolation. Whereas Gallinule chicks are outfitted to face the world from a really younger age, they nonetheless want their households and should select to stick with them for lengthy after they’ve grown sufficiently old to strike out on their very own.

Gallinule Encounters and Omens

Whereas Gallinules are comparatively widespread, they’re additionally fairly secretive. Encountering a Gallinule generally is a very particular expertise. Encounter with Gallinules could characterize steadiness or adaptability.

Just like the Gallinule who steps evenly atop floating particles, a Gallinule encounter could remind you that steadiness is the important thing to staying up to the mark. With a transparent head and balanced priorities, you may keep away from sinking into life’s muddy swamps.

Gallinule in Mythology & Folklore

Within the following part, we’ll cowl a number of mythological traditions which function Gallinules or their shut family.

Native American Mythology:

As mentioned above, the coot, a detailed relative of the Gallinule, is commonly forged because the “Earth-Diver” throughout the Earth-Diver fable. In a single particular occasion of this, the coot is enlisted by the trickster hero Coyote to save lots of the world. On this model, fairly than inventing the world from the primordial waters, Coyote is tasked with retrieving the world after it has been submerged by a fantastic flood. Every animal, together with Coyote himself, tries and fails to retrieve the mud to recreate the land. Then, the coot is distributed down into the flood. The coot narrowly succeeds and the land is free from the flood as soon as extra. (7)

Hawaiian Mythology:

Alae Ula means “burnt brow.” It’s the Hawaiian title for the Hawaiian Gallinule, a species which bares main cultural significance for the folks of Hawaii. The Alae Ula has been worshipped as a deity and is the topic of quite a few myths, principally surrounding the acquisition of fireside by mankind. “burnt face” doubtless comes kind the Gallinule’s purple face plate. In lots of tales, this plate is claimed to have originated from a burning incident through the story of the acquisition of fireside. (8)

In accordance with one model of the legend, Maui was hungry at some point and grew envious of the volcano gods who feasted upon cooked meals. He adopted the scent of cooked meals till he discovered a grove the place a household of Alae, who have been secretive volcano spirits, feasted round a fireplace. Ravenous, Maui snatched their meals and ate it. Then, eager to share the bounty with humanity, he captured one of many Alae and requested her the right way to use hearth. The Alae wouldn’t inform him, so Maui rubbed her head uncooked till it was purple and featherless. Then she gave up the key and Maui introduced hearth to mankind. (9)

Gallinule Floating
Picture by Paul Criminal on Unsplash

One other, comparable, model of the parable means that Maui and his brothers tried in useless to seize the Alae and be taught the key of fireside. Sooner or later, Maui and his brothers got here up with a surefire plan to lastly seize the Alae. They created dummies within the form of individuals and loaded them onto their canoe. After they noticed this, the Alae birds believed that Maui was out fishing and that they have been protected from him. They started making their cooking hearth and Maui used this chance to seize one and drive it to disclose the key of fireside. Similar to the earlier story, the Alae’s purple face is the results of a punishment that Maui doles out when the hen refuses to disclose the key when merely requested. (10)

Additional variations of this story change Maui’s brothers together with his 4 sons, nevertheless the plot factors stay comparable. In virtually all variations, Maui should trick or lure the Alae. The Alae refuse to inform him the right way to get hold of hearth, and generally trick him into attempting strategies that don’t work. Then, Maui intimidates the Alae who lastly reveals the key of fireside. As punishments, the top of the Alae is burned or wounded. (11)

Though I can not discover a main supply for this, many secondary sources cite the existence of an alternate model of this fable. Within the alternate model, the Alae is claimed to be the hero who brings hearth to the folks from the realm of the gods. This model of the parable sees the Alae burned accidentally on account of its personal selfless act. (12)

Gallinule Spirit Animal

In case your spirit animal is the Gallinule then you’re doubtless considerate and reserved. Fiercely unbiased, but completely satisfied to embrace the help of others, the Gallinule spirit animal is a particular kind of introvert which thrives within the firm of a choose few folks however which prefers solitude over unsupportive or unconstructive firm.

Folks with the Gallinule spirit animal are sometimes “previous souls” who mature rapidly and should discover themselves forward of their friends emotionally.

Gallinule Totem Animal

The Gallinule totem animal is related to adaptability. Constructed to deal with swamps and wetlands, the Gallinule reminds us that we’re the merchandise of our environments. So as to develop, we should embrace the challenges that our environments set forth and discover methods to rise above them. That is how we develop into stronger, higher folks.

Gallinule Energy Animal

The Gallinule energy animal is linked with steadiness. Folks with the Gallinule as their energy animal reside happier and more healthy lives as a result of they perceive the significance of maintaining all elements of their life in excellent concord. Bold, but family-oriented, easy-going, but motivated, the Gallinule strikes via life with a way of steadiness that permits it to rise above petty issues and sort out the issues that basically matter.

Picture by Matthew Schwartz on Unsplash

Gallinule Tattoo Which means

A Gallinule tattoo could characterize household, maturity, perception, or steadiness. For someone of Hawaiian descent, such a tattoo could maintain further significance. It could characterize the parable of Maui and the Gallinules or it might even characterize Alae as a deity linked with hearth.


From a volcanic god which brings hearth to mankind, both begrudgingly or willingly, to the supply of the lands of the earth itself, to a placing image of the worth and great thing about the wetlands, the Gallinule wears many hats. In every of those roles, the Gallinule is a placing hen whose distinctive attributes enable it to face out from the gang. Whereas it might lack the quick reputation of an eagle or a bluebird, the Gallinule is hen which richly deserves to be acknowledged for its magnificence and its skills.

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