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

Authors

  • João Medina Universidade de Lisboa

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1344/abriu2012.1.105

Keywords:

Zé Povinho, national stereotype, Portuguese traits, anthropology

Abstract

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.