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The Symbolism of Heraldry part 3 " Totemism "

There is a school of thought on the origins of Heraldry that believe totemism to be at the root of heraldic symbols. Totemism is the belief that people are descended from animals, plants , and other natural objects. Symbols of these natural ancestors, known as totems are often associated with clans or other groups tracing common descent. By representing desirable individual qualities ( such as the swiftness of a deer )and helping to explain the mythical origin of the clan, totems reinforce clan identity and solidarity. The totem system of the Native Americans shows this belief in full force. The guardian spirit of the tribe is envisaged as in the form of an animal.In Australia, totemism plays a central part...

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The Language of Heraldry part 1

Old French is the language of heraldry and many of the phrases used in the descriptions of the coats of arms are of Anglo-French derivation, the primary reason for this is that the French language was the first of the native tongues of Europe to arrive at anything resembling an equality with Latin. Since the time of the Roman Empire, Latin was the language of officialdom and had gradually become the everyday speech of people in Britain, France, Spain, and other western European countries.When the Roman Empire crashed, the rule of Rome was overthrown in many countries and Latin was replaced with the local dialect. In some countries such as France and Spain Latin lived on, albeit in a changed...

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