‘Live like a Free-Bird’
What’s in a name?
Many consider the Quetzal to be one of the most beautiful birds alive! This gorgeous creature lives in the tropical rainforests of Costa Rica. The Quetzal has been of great importance to the Central American region since the Pre-Columbian era (when it was even considered divine).
The Quetzal’s tail feathers are a mix of bright red, iridescent green, and metallic blue. They measure up to a meter long. The birds were so precious to the Mayans and Aztecs that they used them as a currency of exchange, but also to decorate the headdresses of the most important people in the village.
The Popol Vuh and the Chilam Balam (both very important Mayan books) mention the Quetzal frequently. It represents wealth and freedom, and the symbolism is all but coincidental. Legends say that this magnificent bird would rather die of hunger than be kept as a prisoner. This is how Free-Bird got its name.