The symbolism described above is prominent and well documented. In addition to these meanings, a few stories exist that act as an elaboration on the full story of the Qilin. A myth exists in which the Qilin's horn is burned in order to see the future. In addition, the Qilin was also a confusing figure in China when a traveller brought a giraffe to a Chinese emperor as a gift. Years after this occurred, the image of a Qilin and giraffe were still mixed in historical and cultural records. This is historically and culturally relevant because the giraffe and Qilin became linked by the common word used to name them. The confusion speaks to the idea that the Chinese people had at the time about the Qilin.
The pictures attached to this blog are both examples of the Qilin imagery in temples in Xiamen, China. The first picture is a Qilin with a scaly, dragon type body. The head of the creature is very much like a dragon as well. This Qilin is spitting a book. This story is linked to a myth that before the birth of Confucius, a Qilin appeared spitting up a book. The book prophesied a man with the ability to be a king would be born but he would not become a king. This symbolically links to fertility because this became attached to the birth of a wise sons. The prayers for fertility, as stated before, are for sons that will grow to be intelligent and prosperous men. The Qilin in the second picture is shown amongst clouds, solidifying the creature's auspicious and mythological labeling.
Duda, Margaret. "Qing Dynasty Silver Qilins." Ornament. 23.1 36-41. Web. 10 Sep. 2012.
Eberhard, Wolfram. A Dictionary of Chinese Symbols: Hidden Symbols in Chinese Life and Thought. New York: Routledge, 1986. 79. Print.
Jones, Lindsay. "Politics And Religion: Politics And Chinese Religion ." Encyclopedia of Religion. 2nd Edition. 11. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 7266-7270. Print.
Walters, Derek. Chinese Mythology: An Encyclopedia of Myth and Legend. San Francisco: The Aquarian Press, 1992. Print.
Watt, James. "The Giraffe as the Mythical Qilin in Chinese Art: A Painting and a Rank Badge in the Metropolitan Museum." Metropolitan Museum Journal. 43. (2008): 111-115. Print.
Williams, C.A.S. Outlines of Chinese Symbolism and Art Motives. 3rd Edition. 1983. Print.