Friday 24 July 2020

Wild boar (Hungary, 1976)

Will you look at these two? Young wild boar on this rather adorable Hungarian stamp from 1976; I think the wild boar is up there with the water buffalo as a frequent and geographically wide-ranging subject for postage stamps.

Wild boar are very widely dispersed across Europe and also relatively common (if fluctuating) in North America and South East Asia. Human interaction with wild boar dates back millennia; there are cave paintings of wild boar in Altamira, Spain which date back at least 14,000 years and at Gobekli Tepe, Turkey dating back 11,000 years. Virtually all heroes in Greek mythology encounter a wild boar and we also find them in Scandinavian, Anglo Saxon, Hindu, Vedic, Celtic, Chinese, Japanese and Mongol cultures. It is often associated with strength, might and hunting.

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