The rooster of Morón

The rooster of Morón

Heritage & Traditions

Por Irene Ferrer

The city of Morón has one of the most unique and popular symbols in the country. A huge bronze rooster, erect, very feathered and in a singing position, welcomes those who come to this city in the central province of Ciego de Ávila.

But throughout the island, contrary to the appearance of the bird, the expression "stayed like the Morón rooster, without feathers and cackling" is very common, when things go wrong for some unfortunate person. Despite how Cuban this expression is today, the phrase and the rooster came with the Spanish settlers of the town, founded in 1750.

Historians review that in the Sevillian town of Morón de la Frontera, around the sixteenth century there was a venal and abusive official in the collection of taxes who boasted of being the only rooster there, and that where he sang, another could not do it. ... Until one day, when the indignant neighbors gave him a sovereign beating and left him with only his shirt on.

Then came the verses “You are going to stay / like the rooster of Morón / without feathers and cackling“ and a monument with a plucked rooster was erected, as a representation of the spirit of rebellion of that town.

In the Cuban extension of this story, the bird recovered its attributes of gallantry and Morón began to be known as the City of the Rooster.

In 1955, a monument to the Creole rooster was erected, but the initiative, which had been carried out with popular support, was politically manipulated and the park where it was installed received the name of General Batista, then dictator of Cuba, who inaugurated the work. When his regime was overthrown in 1959, the rooster was destroyed.

In 1982 the monument of the new Rooster of Morón was inaugurated, made by sculptor Rita Longa, one of the most prestigious figures of Cuban culture, with the collaboration of Armando Alonso, the author of the previous statue of the bird.

Today, the Cuban Rooster of Morón is "brave in the fight", as recorded on a plaque that accompanies such an ingrained symbol.