Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The faces of pigs in human representation

"...to Freyr he gave the boar, saying that it could run through air and water better than any horse, and it could never become so dark with night or gloom of the Murky Regions that there should not be sufficient light where he went, such was the glow from its mane and bristles..."

In Norse mythology the boar Gullinbursti, is a magical creature created in a blacksmiths furnace as a bet that it could not be done. He is a symbol of strength, intelligence, and courage. He is shown in the illustration behind his owner Freyr, god of farming, peace, and sexual pleasure.

Here is a Belgian children's cartoon depicting a pig as a gross and funny farting pig. The pig is full of life, full of humor, and seems to be a help, but ends up just causing a mess. This is the typical western depiction of a pig, not very bright and full of smelly farts. This depiction is most likely a result of the way pigs are raised/farmed in our culture. Many pigs are kept in small areas, resulting in huge amounts of animal waste and a putrid smell to boot. They are often portrayed rolling in there own waste or mud which only adds to our image of them as a dirty and stupid animal.

pig is depicted as a monster that needed to be cruelly shot down by an 11 year old boy. The alleged giant was from the the back woods of South Georgia, and was shot 8 times with a 50-caliber hand gun!

Gullinbursti is a depiction of a pig that is very different from how I was raised to think of a pig, so much so that I find the illustration rather bizarre. The idea of a sacred powerful pig defies the idea of a dirty, smelly pig that I was raised to have as an idea. The last depiction of the monster pig is just sad to me. To me this is an honorable champion of the woods, most likely a stray pig that survived very well, and a giant of the world. I guess the part that truly saddens me is that people feel proud to destroy the giants of the world.