One of the world's most beautiful breeds of bovine roams freely between the borders of Northern Portugal and Galicia. The Barrosã with its distinctive lyre-shaped horns, has a Denominação de Origem Controlada status, or Protected Designation of Origin, under the European Commission. Much like the names of Gorgonzola, Champagne, and Armagnac, this breed can only be called Barrosã if it is born and raised in this particular part of Portugal. Its meat is highly regarded, and a source of regional pride.
Until the second half of the 20th Century, Barrosã bulls were communal; each village owning one, which was cared for collectively. Festivals were held to bring the bulls of each village together, which would lock horns in a fight to determine the strongest male, who would win the right to breed with the cows. These festivals, known as Chega de Bois, still take place in Northern Portugal, though these days the bulls are seldom collectively owned.
Their golden coats and twisted horns reminded me of Ancient Egyptian idols— Hathor incarnate, reclining in the grass. Beautiful beasts, unimpressed by the little human in the green kerchief who desperately wanted to pet or draw them.
Last photo taken by Inês P. and Mia G. — Muito obrigada!