Sacred Cod

Boston, United States

Sacred Cod

The Sacred Cod is a four-foot-eleven-inch (150 cm) carved-wood effigy of an Atlantic codfish, "painted to the life", hanging in the House of Representatives chamber of Boston's Massachusetts State House‍—‌"a memorial of the importance of the Cod-Fishery to the welfare of this Commonwealth" (i.e. Massachusetts, of which cod is officially the "historic and continuing symbol"). The Sacred Cod has gone through as many as three incarnations over three centuries: the first (if it really existed‍—‌the authoritative source calling it a "prehistoric creature of tradition") was lost in a 1747 fire; the second disappeared during the American Revolution; and the third is the one seen in the House today.

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