Elephants in Thailand Vol. 1: Mahouts and Their Cultures Today
By Joachim Schliesinger
Elephants in Thailand V. 1 , Mahouts and their Cultures Today is the first of two volumes about Thai elephants. This volume portrays the plight of wild and domesticated elephants in modern Thailand. It shows how domesticated elephants are employed both in the timber industry and in the many elephant camps for tourists around the country. It describes in detail the distinct elephant-keeping traditions of the various ethnic groups in the country that have an association with elephants, namely the Tai-speaking Thai (Central Thai), Southern Thai, Yuan, Tai Yai (Shan), Tai Lue, Tai Yong, Tai Khoen, Lao Isan, Khorat Thai and Phuan; the Mon-Khmer-speaking Khmer, Kui, Mon, Khamu, Mpi and Lawap; as well as the Sino-Tibetan-speaking Karen. It also provides information about the characteristics and status of those quintessentially Thai beasts, the Royal White Elephants. All this is complemented by over 110 illustrations and an extensive bibliography. A second volume, Elephants in Thailand?Through the Ages, which is in preparation, sketches the importance of the association between elephant and man since the dawn of history, both in general and throughout Thai history in particular. It explains why the elephant is so deeply rooted in Thai mythology and fiction and why it has been the national symbol for centuries. It shows the Siamese kings as great warriors on elephant back since Sukhothai times, the wild elephant round-ups at the Royal Elephant kraals in Ayutthaya and Lop Buri and explains the importance of white elephants for king and nation. The text is complemented by further illustrations. Other volumes about Asian elephants are also in course of preparation.
Size 150 x 210 mm
229 pages, illus
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