The notion of suids is a zoological category that designates a family of even-toed, non-ruminant ungulate mammals. Following the cases of the wild boar and the pig in different latitudes, in Europe but especially in Asia, the authors of this paper examine the singular position of these animals in a large number of traditions. Familiarization, domestication and predation coexist. Despite recurring characteristics, and despite being wild or domesticated, the pig appears as an ambiguous figure, “a singular beast” according to the expression of C. Fabre-Vassas. And yet, in terms of imaginaries, relationships and substances, the conceptions are very heterogeneous. Pigs emerge as entities that navigate between plural worlds and in multiple time-spaces, their substances being used extensively. They are subjects that put distinctions such as the wild and the domestic to work, sometimes to validate them, sometimes to go beyond them. Finally, as this is well illustrated by, among other things, sacrificial practices, the pig reveals a double that never fully recognises itself: the human.
Pig, wild boar, Cameroon, Belgium, Asia, Oceania.