A long time ago, a Galician pilgrim was passing through Portugal on his way to Santiago de Compostela to honour a vow. On reaching Barcelos, he decided to spend the night at an inn. The townsfolk, who were up in arms over a crime for which they could not find the culprit, accused the poor pilgrim who, despite protesting his innocence, was imprisoned and sentenced to death by hanging.
For his last wish, the Galician asked to be taken to the judge who had issued the sentence. When he arrived at the judges house, he came upon the honourable judge and his friends in the middle of a lavish feast. The Galician repeated that he was innocent but no one believed him. In despair, he noticed a baked rooster on a tray and said:
"Im surely as innocent as its certain that this rooster will crow when you hang me."
Everyone laughed but no one touched the rooster. When it was time for the hanging, the rooster stood up and crowed. The judge ran to the gallows and was surprised to find the poor man with the noose around his neck but the knot slack, preventing his strangulation. He was immediately released and told to go in peace.
You can see some pottery of Barcelos by clicking HERE.
On February 12th 1761 the Prime Minister Marquês de Pombal abolished slavery by law in Portugal, in the colonies of India and also the transportation of new slaves to Brazilian colony, so Portugal is considered a pioneer in abolitionism.
Unfortunately only until February 25th 1869 was the process complete in the whole Portuguese empire.
The Lucky Black Man is a symbol of luck and money. The little coin represents the first salary payed to the now free man.
This piece is also known as "The Black man of Fortune" in some regions. The piece is produced in clay and cold painted.
"Lucky Black Man" approximate measurements: 3cm x 2cm x 4cm
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