Legend about Leopard
Leopard - a symbol of courage, honor and nobility among different nationalities
Symbolic signs have been known in the East since time immemorial. With the advent of private property, the need for personal signs appeared, which were inherited along with property and became a kind of "birth certificate" of the founder of the clan.
There are strong beliefs in Tibet that saints can turn into snow leopards.
The Vakhs, an ethnic group living in the mountains of northern Pakistan, China, Tajikistan and Afghanistan, have a belief in mountain spirits. These are women who turn into snow leopards, and who, with proper treatment and respect, help local residents.
In the Turkic-Mongolian “feral” calendar with a 12-year cycle, instead of the Tiger year was the year of the Leopard. According to popular beliefs, this year was considered especially successful.
The leopard in mythological representations of the Sax-Scythian peoples was the defender of justice.
According to the ancient Kyrgyz epos Manas, the tribal Kyrgyz nobility Begi led its family tree from mythical ancestors - leopards: "I killed seven wolves. I didn’t kill leopards and fallow deer” - the ancient Kyrgyz wrote at grave epitaphs.
In the 7th century, the ancestors of the Kazan Tatars - the Volga Bulgars - considered the winged leopard a symbol of wealth, fertility, nobility and the patron of their state. The leopard was considered a sacred animal, so it was portrayed with a sign of holiness - wings.
Leopard - a symbol of Samarkand
For many centuries, the mighty Leopard has been the permanent symbol of Samarkand. The inhabitants of the city composed the legend about Leopard.
According to the legend, when the city of Samarkand was founded, a leopard – «palyang» descended from the Zeravshan mountains. He approached the city walls, and proudly, like the king of animals, began to go around all the residential buildings and city walls. Then he went back to the mountains. Since then, the inhabitants of Samarkand began to be called leopards.
Since that time, for the inhabitants of Samarkand, Leopard is not just a strong and courageous animal; he has become a real symbol of the city. The leopard is depicted on the banner and coat of arms of the city. He symbolizes power and the Sun. Leopard with the Sun blazing on his back adorns the Sher-Dor madrassah, as the personification of the ruling person. His strength and power are equal to the power of the Earth and Heaven. Therefore, only Leopard can carry the vital Star.
Samarkand leopard symbol is found not only in architecture, but also in handicraft production.
They say that the symbol of the lion was brought to the lands of Samarkand by the Iranians, but under the Arabs and Turks it was replaced by the symbols of the leopard. And since then, he personifies the strength and power of Great Samarkand.
Everyone who enters the city is greeted by Samarkand Leopard, who raises his paw forward. This gesture means that the city sincerely welcomes its guests and wishes them good and prosperity.
Note that Leopard with a blazing Sun on his back is not only depicted on the Sher-Dor Madrasah building. He can also be seen on the Uzbek national banknote of 200 sum.
Leopard - the symbol of Samarkand
The modern emblem of Samarkand was approved in July 1994. The base of the coat of arms is a red shield - a symbol of the protection of the city. In the center there is a snow leopard with wings. Below there is a golden wave-like line, symbolizing the Zarafshan River, "bearing gold." In the upper part of the coat of arms there is a seven-pointed turquoise star - in the East a revered sign of perfection, the unity of science, art and architecture.