Buddha and Elephant figures

A wooden buddha and a clay elephant.
A wooden buddha and a clay elephant.

Both of these figures are symbols of my Lao family. I’m not sure where they were bought, but I know I got them from Georgia and brought them with me to New York. I grew up seeing a bunch of figures like these around the house, especially at my dad’s and grandparents’ houses. The Buddha statue is supposed to bring positive energy, good health, and prosperity to the household, and is a reminder of Buddha’s teachings of inner peace, protection, and meditation. The elephant is the symbol of Laos, which dates back to the ancient kingdom of Lan Xang, which translates to “Land of a Million Elephants”. Elephants are still sacred to the land and some Lao people believe they will bring prosperity to them. Both of these objects are important because it reminds me of my identity that I haven’t fully explored yet and my family’s history and culture.

Place(s): Laos

– Mia

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant