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Torito de Pucará


Symbology of protection, happiness and fertility

In the south of Peru, specifically in the district of Pucará, province of Lampa, department of Puno, we find the most representative character of southern Peru "El torito de Pucará", full of mysticism and art, made from clay.

Origin and myth

The origin of the Toritos de Pucará is unknown, but there are different myths and legends about their origin.

The first tells the story that in Pucará a long time ago there was an intense drought, the wells and lagoons in the area were already drying up, then an indigenous peasant decided to make an offering to the God Pachakamaq, deciding to climb the rock of Pucará taking with him a bull to sacrifice it, but this animal already sensed the intention of its owner, so when reaching the top the animal with its horn tried to touch the rock and in an imaginable way the water gushed out managing to end the drought. From that moment the bull began to be admired by the inhabitants of the area, thus beginning to be used as a ritual element, used in the marking of cattle and becoming the inspiration of artisans.

The second story of this colorful character, dates back to the arrival of the Spaniards to America, with the Spanish influence in Peru, the bulls began to be part of Peruvian traditions and customs, so for the festivities these animals were decorated with many colors and then put spicy on their nose,  which caused irritation in the animals and they went crazy, according to this legend, the Torito de Pucará is the representation of the first bulls adorned but at the same time furious by the spicy that they placed.


As mentioned above, the Pucará bull is used as an element of ritual and is considered as a protector of the home, an amulet to achieve marital happiness, fertility and prosperity.

Traditionally it is said that for the bull to fulfill its functions it must be placed on the roof or roof of the house, facing the front (in the direction of the street), some people advise having two bulls of pucará together (a pair of males or one of female and male), others point out that having only one is enough.  Also, in some places they place a cross between the two bulls.

These figures are represented in different colors, the most popular being red, black and white.

Meanings of the bulls of Pucará according to their color:

  • Red: Protection and love in the home.
  • Black: Protection against envy.
  • White: Attracts peace in the home.
  • Green: Attracts economic prosperity, fertility and good health.
  • Orange: Attracts joy and fun.
  • Blue: Generates trust, fidelity and friendship.

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