We posted this photo of a classic Portuguese ceramic elephant statue and the comments did not disappoint.

Most people growing up in the Greater New Bedford/Greater Fall River area were able to look at this photo and instantly remember who in their family owned one. It was a classic piece of decor in every Portuguese grandparent's home on the SouthCoast. But can you believe that only 2 people in our office even knew what it was?  Our coworkers just kept saying "Okay, so what am I looking at? What is this?"

If you've never seen it before, it can be a lot to unpack. Why are there tigers attacking an elephant? Should that man have a weapon to fight the tigers? What relevance does this have to the Portuguese culture that made everyone want one? So many questions about this 1940s-era ceramic elephant and so little answers.

After posting this photo to Instagram and Facebook, there were a few recurring themes that had us saying, "Ohmygod, YES!"

1. They were always displayed on top of the TV console in the parlor.

portuguese elephant on top of tv console
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elephant on the tv quote
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nanas elephant statue on her tv
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2. Everyone seems to have lost the spear that the rider should be using to fight off the tiger.

portuguese elephant but the spear is missing
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3. Everyone's Tia and Vo had one. One woman even had half-a-dozen Tias who each had one.

tias
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all of my tias elephant statue
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4. A few broke after the family cat knocked it down. One person removed the cat from the home as a result.

the cat broke my portuguese elephant statue
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Some of you were even up to the challenge and sent us photos of YOUR Elephant vs. Tigers statue. We were SHOCKED at how many of you actually did still have the spear.

User submitted photos of Portuguese elephant statue
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user submitted photos of potugues elephant statues
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There is no doubt that this statue is a piece of our collective childhood, even though we still aren't sure why everyone had it or what significance it has. If anyone knows the true story of this piece, we'd love to hear it!