Welcome to the FLYPIG website where you can see and learn about this ancient Appalachian toy. Many years ago small toy pigs were made from hollowed out pecan shells. Movable eyes, ears, and tail were added, and then a live house fly placed inside. That is why they are called flypigs. The movement of the fly caused the parts of the pig to move as if by magic. Long before electric toys existed, flypigs were a Christmas novelty in the Southern Mountains. These were the first animated mechanical toys available that moved and ran by themselves. They could be made out of a single pecan nut using only a pocket knife. Pecans were harvested in the fall, then sold in the local stores at Christmas time when mountain folks would buy them as treats. What better thing to do than to create a toy for the kids out of the empty shell. The tiny legs were made from match sticks and the other parts were whittled out of twigs. A plug for the nose closed the hole where the meat of the nut had been extracted. Now all that was needed was a live fly to put inside the pig to animate it for everyone's amazement. Most often the flypigs were put on display above the firplace so the fly would remain warm and active and so visitors could see the action.
Here is a bunch of flypigs on the way to the farmer's market in a 1938 dodge truck. They are going to buy apples and peaches.
FLYPIG, PECAN PIG, WOODEN PIG, APPLACHIAN FOLK TOY, NUT PIG, FLY OPERATED TOY, MEXICAN TOY PIG, INSECT INSIDE TOY PIG
LINK TO VIDEOS. CLICK ON BLUE BUTTONS BELOW.
NO FLIES WERE HARMED IN THE MAKING OF THIS WEBSITE