An effigy is an image or representation of a person, usually made out of paper or wax and sometimes displayed in a public square or burned as part of a protest or ceremony. They can also be found in art, especially from the medieval period. Effigies are often used to express disapproval of a person, particularly when a larger crowd is present. This could involve burning an effigy of a political figure, for instance, as a symbol of discontent with a particular policy or decision. The effigy can also represent a symbolic death of sorts, as people burn it as a way to indicate that a certain idea or practice has been extinguished.
In some cultures, effigies are used in rituals or memorial services, such as when a deceased relative may have their effigy placed on a pyre and then set alight. This is a way of honoring the person’s memory, while also allowing them to move on to the next life. In other cultures, effigies are used in annual festivals or processions as a way of re-enacting myths or legends or showing support for a certain cause.
Effigies have been around since before the dawn of recorded history, and the ways in which they have been used have shifted and changed over time. Today, effigies are still used as a means of expressing dissent and protesting against current events. They are also used to commemorate important people, as a way to honor their memory and legacy.