Mechelse Collonca (CCP24)


Mechelse Padovana


The various phenotypes display the characteristics of the twenty-three different breeds of chicken that were crossed into this generation of the Cosmopolitan Chicken Project with recognizable traits from Belgium, France, Great Britain, the United States, Germany, the Netherlands, Mexico, Thailand, Brazil, Turkey, Cuba, Italy, Russia, China, Egypt, Senegal, Slovenia, Austria, Indonesia, Detroit, Denmark, Finland, and Vatican City.




The Colonia, also called Gallina Mapuche, is a chicken species in south-central Chile characterized by the complete absence of a tail, with no vestige of rump or rectrices or sickle feathers typically pointing downwards. The species is named after the indigenous Mapuche people of the Araucanía region of Chile (south-central Chile and southwestern Argentina), whom the Spanish conquerors called Araucanas. The Mapuche successfully resisted European colonization for over three centuries until their numbers plummeted due to the occupation. Despite being marginalized and impoverished, they never succumbed to colonization. According to legend, the chicken was an indigenous bird domesticated by the Mapuche. Some scientific reports suggest a pre-Columbian, possibly Polynesian origin.

 he Collonca symbolizes the proud culture and identity of the Mapuche.


January 2019, Vanmechelen visited Kollonka Pulli, a small farm that breeds Mapuche hens in Pitrufquen, Temuco. The farm distributes chickens to different Mapuche communities. They collaborate with Jose Antonio Alcalde, professor at de Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile in Santiago, who has been trying to rescue the Mapuche hen for years. Alcalde: “The Western world gives the domestic chicken a role as a food source of meat and eggs, but for some Polynesian and South American cultures, the chicken additionally has religious and symbolic significance.”

The Mapuche women who raised these chickens testified on the productivity and fertility issues with the Mapuche hen.



Birthplace of the first chicks

Global Open Farm, Oudsbergen (BE)

First showing

Cosmopolitan Culture Park, LABIOMISTA (BE)

The unexpected, the appeal of the chicken. Serendipity at work...

The Mechelse Collonca stands for the Mapuche culture's need to form an essential chain in the global human civilization. There are plans to build a Ruca, a traditional Mapuche house type, to breed Collonka's in the Cosmopolitan Chicken Project. We are preserving the local by partly integrated into the global.

It is far from easy to incorporate the Collonka into the CCP. Some Mapuche are focused on preserving the species' purity as a symbol against cultural annihilation and integration from the country's powers. While purity is essential, being open to the global and gaining strength from collaboration with other cultures is also important.