Many of us use symbols as part of the association with our culture and each of us, have our own type of symbol that we associate good fortune and good luck to. Pigs have garnered much popular interest in many cultures east and west. The Chinese for instance speak of the golden “double pigs” for happiness and prosperity while the Germans consider the pigs, “Gluckschweins” or “lucky pigs”. However, these symbolic pigs are usually seen possessing all their four legs.
Thus, many of us may be intrigued and somewhat surprised by the three legged Chanchitos pig statues that we might sometimes see in a friend or family’s yard. After all, none of us could possibly conceive the existence of such a heavy animal without all its four quarters intact. Hence, the idea that maybe a leg got snapped off leaving the unwary pig statue still capable of standing ground to maintain balance may well be the heartwarming position we might take in responding to the sight of a rather awkward looking three legged pig.
The creation of the Chanchitos pig hails from the town of Pomaire, a Chilean town located west of Santiago. The land of Pomaire is extremely fertile in natural clay and has been noted for its lovely pottery creations handed down from generation to generation using the same ancient techniques passed on from their ancestors since the late 1600s. Apart from creating pottery ware and ceramics, the town is also well noted for its inception of the famous and rather cute three legged pig figurines known as Chanchitos pig. These little pigs are endowed with the blessings of ushering good luck and goodwill to its recipient and hence, it is common for people of this town to bring in little Chanchitos pigs made of clay and ceramic as gifts for friends and family. The chance of bumping into these imaginative looking pigs in the shops of Pomaire is therefore common. They appear to have been assimilated in the face of this vibrant little town as a common good luck statue seen in shops and restaurants which have also become closely acculturated into the beliefs of the people of this town. Tourists passing their way through Pomaire looking for some giftware reminiscent of this lovely town may find it very hard to fend off the look of the unusual and adorable piggy figurine with the three legs and eventually these little pigs become part of the merchandise and gifts purchased in this town. As each of these little pigs weaves their way into our society, it is only natural that the idea behind their existence is also upheld. After all, we all like good luck charms to keep our lives secure, happy and filled with luck every single day.
Whether the story behind the Chanchitos pig remains a creative charm contrived by the fertile imagination of the town craftsmen to boost a tourist appeal or otherwise, no one can dispense the adorable and imaginative appeal these pigs have possessed over the rest of the world. They have become a lively part of the conversations in blogs, part of the garden landscape tucked away in a place for noticeable view and as desk ornaments mostly looked upon for luck or as unusual gift pieces for intriguing a curious passerby.