Bull and donkey stickers in the Balearic Islands

To an observer visitor, might call their attention some stickers in the shape of a bull or a donkey, which some drivers engage on the back door of their vehicles. Images with clear political connotations, although it may be strange to foreigners.

The bull was born in 1956, in conjunction with Manolo Prieto, as a commercial icon for the Veterano brandy of Osborne, a company from Puerto de Santa Maria, producing spirits since 1772. In addition to being used on the labels of the brandy, on the Spanish roads appeared black hoardings with the silhouette of a bull known as Toro de Osborne. Over time, this image has exceeded the scope of advertising, becoming a source of inspiration for artists such as Dalí or Almodovar. To the point, that with the danger of disappearing because of the rules governing advertising on the roads, the hoardings were declared part of the cultural and artistic heritage of Spain, in recognition of exceeding its initial advertising sense. All in all, made this bull a symbol of Spain, or rather a way of understanding the Spanish ration, somewhat folkloric.

The first Catalan donkey was designed by Eloi Alegre, commissioned by the Associació per al Foment de la Raça Asinina Catalana (Association for the Promotion of the Catalan Asinina Race), with the intention of promoting this donkey breed, native from Catalonia. This was the silhouette of a donkey. With which Jaume Sala and Àlex Ferreiro in 2004 decided to make stickers, that since then thousands of drivers have stuck on the back of their vehicles, as opposed to the Osborne’s bull and the idea of Spain which represents. Thus becoming a symbol for the Catalan nationalism claims. With the success of the Catalan donkey, came the lawsuits by copyright, between the initial designer and the stickers promoters, who modified the  original donkey design by removing the testicles and a small fringe.

On Mallorca, as a Catalan culture land, we find not only the stickers with the donkey or the bull, but lately has come about the silhouette of a demon, as a new symbol of our popular culture.

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  1. MCA Travel February 12, 2009

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