Peacock Feather Dice, tradition dances with a feathered fiesta. From the flappers of the 1920’s with their elaborate feathered headbands and clips to the peacock feather silks woven in the Far East from 400 – 600 BC, this fabulously flamboyant bird has long been the symbol of height of beauty and fashion even appearing in the illuminated manuscripts of the middle ages. Few birds sport as impressive of plumage as the male peacock. Known for the truly impressive tails clocking in at over 5ft. in length, they can expand close to 10 feet in diameter when trying to impress the ladies. That’s not a feat most men can replicate, unless you’re one of the peacock’s cousins, like the pheasant, and the American turkey both of which sport similar, if not as grandiose styles of booty plumes.
Hailing from faraway places like Burma and India, the peacock has always had the air of the exotic, though they are truly world travelers today, as they spread across the world with their human companions, much like the humble jungle fowl of the asian peninsula became the modern chicken. Today’s peacocks are routine found of farms through out the world. Though in 1936 there was a new species of peacock discovered in the African Congo, aptly named, the Congo peacock.
Today we use peacock feathers for fashion and fishing. They are often used by fishermen to tie the perfect fly for landing the next big fish. In the fashion world you’ll find them adorning everything from handbags, to belts, and head ware. But what gives these feathers the uncommon beauty? Rarely do we find iridescent greens and blues in nature. That’s because the humble peacock is playing with advanced physics to attract it’s mate. Their colors are structural in nature not based on pygment.
The surface of their feathers is layered with tiny microscopic barbules that create the brightly iridescent colors that appears to shift and dance as angle of light changes. This iridescence is produced by light waves interacting with the tiny barbules creating constructively and destructively interference. This is why a wet peacock is not only sad a droopy, but also very brown and the waves of light no longer interact with the barbules.