Sep 19

Talk Like a Pirate's Parrot Day

Pieces of Eight
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Pirate's Treasure
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"Pieces of Eight! Pieces of Eight!"

One of the most famous fictional pirates comes from the tale Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, in the character of the one-legged pirate Long John Silver, whose parrot, Captain Flint, sits on his shoulder and nibbles seeds between squawks and exclamations.

Robert Louis Stevenson (Scottish novelist, poet, essayist, and travel writer), author of many well-loved stories including his famous pirate story, Treasure Island,  is responsible for many of the motifs  we now associate with pirates in fiction -  treasure maps marked with an "X", schooners, the Black Spot, tropical islands, and one-legged seamen bearing parrots on their shoulders who cry out, "Pieces of eight!"

The main character, the morally ambiguous villain, Long John Silver, has a parrot trained to cry out, "Pieces of eight!"

A piece of eight, the Spanish peso de ocho, also known as the Spanish dollar, is a silver coin, minted in the Spanish Empire after 1598, and worth eight reales. 

Long tied to the lore of piracy, "pieces of eight" were manufactured in the Americas and transported in bulk back to Spain, making them a very tempting target for seagoing pirates. 

By designer Carol A.L. Martin, this tartan reflects the colors of silver and gold coins at the bottom of the ocean.

For more on the missing treasure at the bottom of the ocean that has yet to be found, click the treasure.

Officially registered tartan graphics on this site courtesy of The Scottish Tartans Authority.  Other tartans from talented tartan artists may also be featured.

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