It’s curious how chess pieces are represented based on culture or tradition. In Baguio, I’ve seen chess pieces are in the shape of Igorot tribe warriors. I did a Google image search and found chess sets inspired by the American Civil War, the Scottish Wars, The Lord of the Rings (the kings are Gandalf and Sauron), African Massai warriors, the Super Bowl, ammunition (yes, bullets!) And, of course, in the wizarding world of Harry Potter, there’s wizard’s chess where the pieces move and demolish one another as the game is played.
In the chess set in the photo above, the King, Queen and Bishops look like they are from the Spanish colonial era in the Philippines. Instead of horses, there are carabaos (water buffalo). And, in place of the Rooks, traditionally represented by castle towers of Medieval Europe, there are nipa huts.
Interesting, this universality of chess. The rules of the game stay the same but the pieces can look so different from one set to the next.