Palm: the tree of life in myths and monotheistic religions

Mahboubeh Taheri, Effatolsadat Afzaltousi


The function of nature, particularly trees, and the role they play in the livelihood and identity of mankind, have been evident throughout the history. Men determined the status of tress based on various approaches, such as the benefits of trees for them, their existential perception of trees, or the recommendation of the religions due to some features of trees. This status may have transformed from a biological feeding resource into a myth based on these approaches; it can be stated that this transformation is considered because of different functions of trees, including healing, the secret of immortality, fertility, etc. Studying the status of tree in references and performing a visual review through ancient civilizations such as Mesopotamia, Jiroft of Iran, and India demonstrate the belief and respect of people of these lands for special kinds of trees (with special features). These beliefs can be observed in the gathered relevant evidence. Such examples in literary or art works transform into myths by a prominent description or through the evaluation of accessibility, even creating some sort of sacredness for the tree. Thus, study of the trees which share some features is similar to following an archetype. Several common features between the functions of sacred tree and date palm can be viewed by reviewing the presented examples on features of palms in the majority of civilizations and in the definitions given in religions. This theory can be suggested in a comparative-analytical method. The meaning of sacred tree is accordant with the effects and features of the palm.



myth; tree of life; sacred tree; palm.

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