Thai Elephants and Its Significant to Thai Culture and History

2061 Words Apr 8th, 2011 9 Pages
Thai Elephants and its significant to Thai Culture and History

The elephant, the giant size animal with enormous power and gentle heart, is a living creature that have special place in Thai’s heart. It has been the icon of Thai tradition, culture and royal power through centuries since the old Siam. The thousand and thousand years of relationship between Thai people and elephants are even recorded and can be found abundantly on the pages of Thai’s historical book. Because of their long association, it surely can be said that Thailand is to elephants and elephants is to Thailand. The elephant has been an integral part of Thailand’s history and culture through both good time and war time. It is a symbol of tradition, history, royal,
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It is believed that the more white elephants held to the King, the more King’s power in the adversaries. However, a white elephant is rare and is registered as the private property of reigning Monarch when they once found. It represents auspicious and the king’s prestige. White elephants are known as Royal elephants. It is noted that H.M. King Bhumibol also has stables of white elephants. The white elephant was also featured in the Siam national flag until the country had changed the name to Thailand.

In the old days when the nation was not occupied with wars, elephants became the use of beast of burden. With their great size, enormous power and talent, elephants were capable as best carrier for heavy matters and human’s transportation. Not long ago, elephants are used for the forest work where machines are not determined as best equipments. The labor of elephants is preferred as they would not devastate even small crops. In fact, they were required years of training start from the age of 4 and were trained by two mahouts for about twenty years, and then put to work in the timber industry. Working elephants have a career of about 50 years and then set free as their retirement at the age of 61. Their daily tasks were the extraction of heavy teak logs, haul logs, carrier and mountaineer. The working elephant is capable of lifting up 700 kilograms of log with tusks and dragging the load of 1.5 tons. Elephants have work schedule and future career just like we

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