Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Who or what?

If anyone can tell me who this strange fellow is, I would love to know. This weird plastic figure is on a keyring, which I think we got in Malta. I'll describe him from the top down. A top hat, a grinning face, a hunchback, a bow tie and tailcoat. With his right hand he's doing the devil's horns/ evil eye sign. In his left hand he holds a horseshoe. Instead of legs he seems to have the body of a chilli pepper.

Can anyone enlighten me?


Jane Housham said...

Well now ... I think it must be a kind of multi-charm for good luck. My researches have unearthed the following: "The Italian horn is a charm that has become more stylized, looking less like a horn and more like a smooth, curved teardrop. When red chili peppers were introduced to Europe, they began making Italian horns from chili peppers. It is said to bring luck by warding off the evil eye. Also considered a fertility charm, it is often placed in the pockets of men to increase their virility and to protect them from curses. It's also considered a favorite gambling charm. The Italian horn can be found in many sizes, ranging from only a few centimeters to several inches in length."
So it's some sort of macho Italian 'horn'. When I did a year in Italy during college, the blokes really did all give nuns the evil eye and rub their 'parts' seven and a half times and other superstitious things. Hilarious!

Gino & Leslie Sanchez said...

I owned one of these when I was a child. My parents made me throw it away. After that, I saw identical ones as keychains and on people's car mirrors. I was researching this and found your post. I've been trying to find its meaning as well.