Zé Povinho, a National Portuguese Totem. Study of National Myths and Symbology


  • João Medina Universidade de Lisboa




Zé Povinho, national stereotype, Portuguese traits, anthropology


Zé Povinho, the known figure created by Bordalo, has been always considered a manifestation of Portugal’s self-image, in spite of his ridiculing, even degrading, characteristics. This figure is comparable with other collective caricatures appearing in Italian, Czech or German cultures, which, at the same time, have their own particularities, as well as some phsycological contradictions. Despite the time which has passed, and the many changes which have taken place in Portugal, Zé Povinho have retained an unchanged symbolic meaning.