Sunday, February 28, 2016

mysterious goat

In 1996, there was a series of zodiac stamps issued in Poland
 by artist Maciej Jedrysik. 
You can see more of his work at his website here. When I first came across this stamp, I had no idea what it was about. I still don't.  Googling koziorozec told me that it was Polish for 'capricorn'. In Poland, they use their own language for the signs of the zodiac, whereas in English we use the Latin names.
The stamp image still made no sense. You can barely see the horns of the goat peeking behind the piece of paper. What does a man sitting at a desk holding up a sheet of paper with eye holes have to do with goats or Capricorns?
It seems I am not alone in being confused. 
There are quite a few threads on several forums asking for clarification about this stamp, with no luck. Some of the others in the series, while still playful, are more recognizable as you can see in this set (courtesy of Erik Berndt flickr).  Aquarius, for instance is called 'waterman' (Wodnik) in Polish, and therefore shows a plumber. Aries (Baran) is using a 'battering ram'. Virgo (Panna) shows a maiden - but what is with the gears?
I'm sure many Poles found this series amusing, but for the rest of us it seems to be just confounding.

for more odd stamps, check out Sunday Stamps II

10 comments:

  1. one oddly bizarre stamp...and I used to get it often on the postcards from Poland...I dont even remember I have received any of the other Zodiac signs...just the Capricorn :) I am one of the confused ones with this one too :)

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    1. me, too! I don't think I've gotten any of the others, but I have several of Capricorn, which added to my confusion!

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  2. I like zodiac stamps, both eastern and western, and these are just bizarre without the reference. The only thing that springs to mind is the concept of a 'Judas' goat - a goat they use to lead all the other goats to slaughter. I could totally see this happening in the world of business.... or politics...

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    1. well, that is as good an explanation as any!

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  3. What fun to have all these. They would keep me amused for hours.

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    1. and yet, after looking at this artists other stamps, I think these are my least favourite. maybe because I don't understand them.

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  4. So quirky and amusing. The Leo one is easy to understand because Napoleon was a Leo. Is the Capricorn (good in business) a faceless bureaucrat? Lots of red tape in Poland.

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    1. yes, the Napoleon Leo made me laugh!
      and thanks for another interesting theory.

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    2. Yes, I wondered about the faceless bureaucrat, and are those horns just peeping out of the too corners of the paper? I wondered also if he was something of an old goat as we'd understand it, but of course this may be a different idiom in Polish.

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  5. Not the TOO corners. The TOP corners. Gah.

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