Roosters on the roof

ALL BUT THE MOST unobservant visitors to Goa will notice that some houses are decorated with models of roosters or saluting soldiers. These models often adorn roofs, but can also be found attached to other external parts of a house.

The roosters/cockerels were commonly added to houses, which were built in the Portuguese era (before 1960), and indicated that either their inhabitants were Catholic and/or pro-Portuguese.

The saluting soldiers (‘soldados’ in Portuguese) might indicate that someone in the house had been in the military. Alternatively, some people, who had been in favour of Goa becoming independent of Portugal, added these after India had ‘liberated’ Goa from Portugal.

In addition to poultry and soldiers,so.e houses are decorated with lions. I have seen it suggested that these are in remembrance of the Kadambas, who ruled Goa during the 3rd to 5th centuries AD.

Despite many modern buildings sprouting up in Goa, there are still plenty of picturesque old edifices to enjoy. And some of these display the decorative features described above

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