Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Rooster from Barcelos - O Galo de Barcelos

One of my cross stitch patterns was inspired by the Rooster from Barcelos, the ceramic statuette from Portugal.

According to the legend, in the small town of Barcelos of the Costa Verde region of Portugal, at a banquet a valuable piece of silver was stolen, and one of the guests, a pilgrim from Galicia, was accused of the theft. He was tried by the court and found guilty. But the pilgrim still swore his innocence, so the magistrate granted him the last chance. Seeing a cock in a basket, the Galician said “If I am innocent, the cock will crow.” The cock crowed and the pilgrim was immediately released.

Nowadays, the Portuguese Rooster symbolises honesty, trust and honour, and, as any national symbols, is said to bring good luck. The rooster is coloured with red, yellow, blue, and green, the colours associated with the Portuguese flag. Traditionally, there is a heart drawn in the centre of the wing and tail. In Portugal, the Rooster is produced not only as a ceramic statuette, but also it is encountered as an embroidery motif.

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