Friday, March 13, 2009


In many countries the rooster is a symbol of good luck, prosperity, strength and fertility. It is believed to chase bad spirits away, crowing when most people are still sleeping. Many stories and legends support these beliefs, but my favorite one comes fromSpain.
In the 14th century, a man, his wife and their son were making thepilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. They stopped for the night at an inn in Santo Domingo, where the innkeeper’s daughter tooka fancy to the young man, who virtuously resisted her advances. Hurt, she plotted revenge. She hid a silver goblet in boy’s baggage and in the morning denounced him as a thief. The boy was arrested and hanged.

As his parents were preparing to depart they heard their son’s voice telling them that he was still alive, as Saint Dominic was holding him up by the feet. They ran to the house of the judge, who was just sitting down to dine on a pair of roast chickens, a cock and a hen, and told him the extraordinary news. The judge retorted that the boy was no more alive then the cock and hen on his plate. At that, the birds jumped out of the plate, grew feathers again and began to cackle and crow, thus demonstrating the hanged boy’s innocence.
To commemorate this miracle a carved niche with a Renaissance grille, known as the chicken coop was build in the cathedral in Santo Domingo de la Calzada. It contains a pair of live white chickens, a cockerel and a hen. Naturally, if a pilgrim hears the cock crow it means good luck!

How not to love a rooster? With his beautiful tail and a red comb it is fierce and bold, takes care of his flock, watching for predators and giving laud warnings, often offering found, tasty food to hens or little chicks.
All images of roosters shown in this post were created with the scissors by the artist Elżbieta Kaleta in the medium of paper cutout. Multilayered designs are mounted on a museum board. All shown originals or their reproductions are available. If interested in purchasing call, or email me, please, for more details and prices.

I hope to see some of you during RIO GRANDE ARTS & CRAFTS FESTIVAL in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Time: March 13, 14, 15, 2009; open 10 am – 5 pm Friday, Saturday & Sunday.
Booth #: A10 (showing paper cutouts and photography).


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