Elephants do not live in El Salvador, nor have they lived in South America for millions of years. Why, then, is the elephant a symbol of good luck in El Salvador? This good luck charm actually has a very recent history, dating back only to 1955 when El Salvador in the midst of economic collapse and social decline imported an Asian elephant from India to live in their central zoo in San Salvador.

History Of The Elephant Charm Good Luck Charm

The elephant El Salvador imported was named Manhewla, adapted from the Sanskrit name Manjula meaning ‘beautiful’ or ‘lovely’. Elephants have a long and illustrious history of rich symbolism and meaning, bringing about protection, wisdom and good luck, and the elephant Manhewla quickly established an amazing status as El Salvadorians flocked to see it. The elephant died from ill health in 2011 commencing national mourning and a velacion, where people gather and sing for the dead whilst commemorating the body with ceremonial offerings. This remains the only animal in El Salvador to have a velacion. Ever since, El Salvadorian-Indian relations have flourished, El Salvador even have an embassy in New Delhi. The elephant inspired the El Salvadorian people and they treasure its memory to such an extent that no new elephant will be seen to replace Manhewla. Now, the elephant is seen as a symbol of protection and good luck. Elephant charms are placed by houses, either facing towards or away from the home as a ward and to shield the home from bad luck.

Why The Elephant Charm Brings Luck

The El Salvadorian people loved their elephant Manhewla, they now view the elephant as a symbol of wisdom and protection for the home.

How To Use The Elephant Charm

Place an elephant charm outside your home to protect it. Make sure it is either facing towards or away from the home.

How The Elephant Charm Is Made

The elephant charm is frequently carved from wood. Elephant charms are small, often small enough to fit in pockets or on jewellery but for good luck, the elephant charm in El Salvador is placed outside homes. Homemade carvings remind El Salvadorians of Manhewla, the elephant they loved dearly.

How To Make The Elephant Charm At Home

It is possible to carve your own elephant charm. It does not need to be entirely realistically proportioned, etc, so long as it resembles an elephant! Elephant charms are widely available, though, as the animal is considered a symbol of good luck, protection and wisdom across many continents, especially Asia and Africa.

Interesting And Fun Facts About The Elephant Charm

  • The elephant charm was inspired by Manhewla, an Asian elephant imported into El Salvador in 1955
  • The elephant charm is placed outside homes to protect them and bring them good luck
  • India and El Salvador have been brought closer together through Manhewla, symbolic of the emotional ability animals have to connect us to one another