Monday, February 17, 2020
KNOW YOUR BABUE
Lanchero in the old days had a way to tell the difference between a wild pig and a pig owned by someone. This way, they wouldn't make the mistake of capturing and killing a pig that was running around free but which was, in fact, owned by someone.
When you owned a pig, you cut away parts of the ear or made notches in the ear of the pig. You could do this in different ways on the two ears; perhaps two cuts on one ear and three on the other.
Besides ear cropping or ear notching, you could also mark your pig by cutting the tail a certain way.
Wild pigs, on the other hand, showed no cropping or notches on their ears, nor did they have cut tails. If you came upon a pig like that, you could capture and kill it. It belonged to no one.
In order to avoid being accused of killing someone's pig, Chamorro men often cut off the intact ears of the wild pig to show any accusers that the pig was indeed wild and fair game for anyone.
Despite the fact that raised pigs were far more desirable as food, since the wild pigs lacked fat and thus the meat was less enjoyable, many men still killed wild pigs, cutting off the ear as evidence the pig was wild.
This was not just a Chamorro custom. It was practiced all over the world, and animal rights activists campaign against such practices today.