Elephants are one of the most fascinating species on the planet. Like humans, they are intelligent, long life, social and extremely flexible. They thrive in climates as diverse as the savannah and the jungle. And they have a long history of interaction with humanity, of our first day in Africa to the battles of Alexander the Great to the Indian countryside.
Anything as big, powerful and intelligent as an elephant is tied to a large part of symbolic value to accumulate, especially considering the use of elephants as the original tank. The most obvious symbolic significance of the elephant is power.
They are one of the largest and heaviest animals on land, and people have coexisted with them, because from the trees. The fascination with animals far beyond their territory: stories about elephants are credited with inspiring legendary mythological beasts in Europe, Asia and Japan.
Their huge size and usability as the war engines made them even more impressive and mythical, and historical records detailing the military use. It is difficult to explain how impressive elephants were in antiquity, the largest animals were cows and horses. It is easy to see why elephants became so integrated into the symbols of Europe.
When the elephants were symbols of European power in India and Africa, they represented wisdom, patience and good luck. Cultures that shared space with elephants had two general approaches of their interactions. In India, where the predominant type of elephant is smaller and easier to work with, elephants were domesticated and used as working animals.
These cultures, which are in Southeast Asia, elephants as symbols of wealth and happiness. The long life and high intelligence of the elephant was treated with a degree of wisdom and foresight, who made elephants in attractive symbols of religion and mysticism.
African elephants are larger, more social and less tractable, meaning that their symbolic value was different. African elephants were wild animals, that mankind needs to adapt to and live next to. Thus, the African elephant stands for both a degree of threat (elephants more dangerous to man than even the lions) and majesty (they were the undisputed top of the food).
The most developed elephant symbols were undoubtedly Indian origin. In India, elephants were a normal phenomenon, used as pack and work animals. As long as the favorable relationship between man and elephant held that the Indian religion included the elephant motif in one of their most beloved figures of the god Ganesh.
Ganesh, the elephant headed god of the Hindu faith, stands for power, authority and happiness. Ganesh portfolio included protection for the believers, lighting and even the flow of prana (vital energy) and the various disciplines of yoga. In Ganesh, the elephant image achieved is the most prominent expression and remains a powerful symbol in India today.
The symbol of the elephant has many different meanings. Europeans focus on the power and danger of Hannibal the elephant corps, which in many different icons and myths.
The Africans respect the elephant, while the Hindi inspired cultures of India and Southeast Asia is honored.