Different uses are made of various parts of the tiger's body

Even today in Asia tiger body parts are still extensively used by people to improve their well-being or status, or so they believe. The Chinese are particularly involved with this. The body parts are also often used in Chinese traditional medicine. However, you can go back a very long way indeed throughout history to see how humankind's reverence and admiration of the tiger has often been its demise. It is very odd that animals that people admire end up being killed by people because humankind likes to possess or eat a piece of that animal thinking that it benefits them.

Tiger clavicle bone as a brooch. Photo: Tennants Auctioneers.

For example, the tiger clavicle bone was often turned into a brooch. You can see one in the photograph above. This particular brooch is mounted in gold metal with a pin fastener. It is 7.5 cm long. A very small bone for such a very large predatory animal. This is because its reduced size allows the tiger to stride longer and therefore move faster. It is a floating bone and I'm told that they have long been considered a symbol of power in China. 

Perhaps the person who wears it feels imbued with the power of the tiger and that they carry a status which subdues those around him. Apparently in ancient China officials wore these brooches around their necks as a status symbol. This particular clavicle bone may have belonged to a tiger shot by a certain Charles Wilfried Hext. No doubt he was an admired big-game hunter in his day perhaps at the turn of the 20th century when there are many tigers roaming the wild in India until they were made scarce by overhunting.

Hundreds of different uses are made of the various internal and external body parts of the tiger. The fat is thought to be a tonic for rheumatism and also prized as an aphrodisiac. The flesh brings courage and strength to those who eat it. The clavicle bone is also considered to be a charm against evil.

If you eat a tiger's heart you acquire the animal's strength courage and cunning. And when you devour the tiger's brain mixed with oil and rubbed on your body it cures laziness and acne. Tiger bone wine is very popular in Asia. There, you can see how superstitious and emotionally fragile humankind is. It is the height of irony for humans to kill such a beautiful and iconic animal to eat and wear bits of it. It would be so much better if they were left alone and that humans gained some benefit by the presence of the tiger by simply looking at it in its natural habitat.


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