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Latino/a Mobility in California History

Genevieve Carpio, Javier Cienfuegos, Ivonne Gonzalez, Karen Lazcano, Katherine Lee Berry, Joshua Mandell, Christofer Rodelo, Alfonso Toro, Authors

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Mamá Elefante - My Migrant Object by Ivonne Gonzalez

During my first semester at Yale in 2012, I came across this elephant figurine in a discount store located in Fair Haven, New Haven's Latino neighborhood. It reminded me of my mother immediately, since my mother is a spiritual woman who believes elephant figurines bring good luck and positive energy to the home. She has collected several figurines over time and now keeps them in a glass display cabinet in our living room.

To me, this figurine in particular is symbolic because it's one that includes both the elephant mother and her baby. The trunks of the elephants in their position symbolize the projection of negative energy into the past in order to move on to a brighter future. I see my mother and myself in the figurine, repelling any negative energy we encounter in our lives. My mother is always reminding me to stay positive and be strong, and this migrant object is one of the many ways I always keep a piece of her spirit with me.
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