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national personification is an anthropomorphism of a nation or its people; it can appear in both editorial cartoons and propaganda.
Some early personifications in the Western world tended to be national manifestations of the majestic wisdom and war goddess
Minerva/ Athena, and often took the Latin name of the ancient Roman province. Examples of this type include Britannia, Germania, Hibernia, Helvetia and Polonia. Representations of the everyman or citizenry—rather than of the nation itself—are Deutscher Michel and John Bull. [1 ]
A national personification is not the same as a
national animal, although in some cartoons the national animal rather than the human personification is used to represent a country.
Personifications by country or territory [ edit ]
Effigy of the Republic/Liberty/Progress/Fatherland, Gaucho, Martín Fierro
Mother Armenia ( Mayr Hayastan; lit. "Mother Hayastan")
Little Boy from Manly Australia
Mother Bengal or Bangla Maa
; the Efígie da República (only in Bandeirante São Paulo State); the Candango (in Brasília); the Gaúcho (in Rio Grande do Sul)
Preah Thong and Neang Neak
Mountie, Johnny Canuck, Le Vieux de '37 (French Canada), Adam Dollard des Ormeaux (used during the two World Wars as a military example), Mother Canada (at the Vimy Memorial)
Roto, El Huaso, La Carmela, Doña Juanita (an average Chilean woman from the countryside)
Čechie, Hloupý Honza, Praotec Čech (Forefather Czech), Double-tailed Czech lion.
Mother of the World (
Om El Donia)
John Bull, Britannia
Europa or Europa regina
Finnish Maiden ( Suomi-neito)
Marianne, Gallic rooster
Saint George, "Mother of Georgia" ( Kartlis Deda)
Germania, Arminius (Hermann der Cherusker), Deutscher Michel
Bavaria, Berlin: Berolina, Brunswick: Brunonia, Franconia: Franconia, Hamburg: Hammonia, Prussia: Borussia, Palatinate: Palatia, Saxony: Saxonia
Athena, " Greece" by Delacroix
Lady of the Mountains ( Fjallkonan)
("Mother India"), earlier the goddess Bharat Mata Durga
Cyrus the Great
Ériu, Banba, Fodla, Kathleen Ni Houlihan, Hibernia, Granuaile, Scotia, [2 ]
Srulik, King David
Amaterasu Omikami, [ ] citation needed Samurai [ ] citation needed
Mother Macedonia [3 ] [4 ]
Charro, La China Poblana, el Pelado.
de Nederlandse Maagd ` ("The Dutch Maiden"), De Leeuw van Oranje, Hans Brinker (outside the Netherlands), ( Zeeland: Zeeuws Meisje)
Brother Jonathan, Puritan, Pine tree.
Kiwi, Zealandia, Southern man (for the South Island)
Mother Norway, Ola Nordmann, Kari Nordmann, hist. Nór
La Madre Patria
Juan dela Cruz, Maria Clara, Filipinas, Luzviminda, Lapu-Lapu
Zé Povinho, (National Self), Eu nacional Lusitania, , República Rooster of Barcelos, Guardian Angel of Portugal
Mother Russia/ Mother Motherland, Rus,
Caledonia, Jock Tamson, Scotia,
Mother Serbia, Kosovo Maiden,
Kranjski Janez ("John from Carniola", an average man from Slovenia's central region), Peter Klepec
Cossack Mamay, Rus
Britannia, John Bull, Lion, Bulldog
Uncle Sam (government personification), Lady Liberty, Columbia, Johnny Rebel ( The South, obsolete), Billy Yank ( The North, obsolete)
Dame Wales, Deffroad Cymru, the Awakening of Wales
Gallery [ edit ]
Freedom for France, freedom for the French
Norway, Denmark and Sweden joining hands in a 19th Century poster
World War I recruiting poster featuring
's cartoon on the 1803
Peace of Amiens
, features a fat and non-martial Britannia kissing "Citizen François", a personifiaction of Revolutionary France
Romania Breaking off Her Chains on the Field of Liberty, also by C. D. Rosenthal
A later depiction of Romania as a helpless woman threatened by the brutal Germany in a World War I French caricature
The figures in this late 18th century painting by
represent Japan, China, and the West.
17th century map by
Frederik de Wit
showing mythological Europa as the continent's personification
"Mrs. Britannia" and her daughter "Miss Canada" discussing "
"(the US) in an 1886 political cartoon.
Albanian caricature from 1913 shows
as a woman defending herself from beasts representing neighboring countries seeking at the time to divide Albania's territory between them:
(snake), saying: "Get away from me! Bloodsucking beasts!"
The woman on the right, holding out a letter of thanks to the enthroned
(from the 1735 edition of Swift's works).
Bavaria, an early 19th-century statue made when
was a fully sovereign Kingdom with a considerable national pride
Political cartoon depicting the tangled web of European alliances.
caricature commenting on the 1921
Peace of Riga
, Russian Bolsheviks (to the right) and Nationalist Poles (on the left) are dividing the territory of Belarus.
See also [ edit ]
National emblem for other metaphors for nations
Hetalia, a popular Japanese webcomic/manga/anime based on original personifications of countries created by Hidekaz Himaruya
References [ edit ]
^ Eric Hobsbawm, "Mass-Producing Traditions: Europe, 1870-1914," in Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger, eds., The Invention of Tradition (Cambridge, 1983), 263-307.
^ O'Clery, M. (2003) Annals of Ireland by the Four Masters as translated into English
^ A Manifesto from the Provisional Government of Macedonia. 1881. "Our mother Macedonia became now as a widow, lonely and deserted by her sons. She does not fly the banner of the victorious Macedonian army"
^ Bulgarian graphic representation of Bulgaria, East Rumelia and Macedonia
Lionel Gossman. "Making of a Romantic Icon: The Religious Context of Friedrich Overbeck's 'Italia und Germania.'" American Philosophical Society, 2007. ISBN 0-87169-975-3. 
External links [ edit ]