Swanica explores Japan

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Elephants in Thailand hold a revered place in society, because of their symbolic importance to monarchs, religion, and the nation as a whole.

A ceramic sculptured elephant.

Thai tradition abounds with examples of the elephant playing an important role in the workings of the Kingdom. Most significant of all, perhaps, is the white elephant, prized because it is a rare animal judged fit only for royal duties.

A ceramic glazed elephant.

According to ancient royal Thai traditions, a white elephant is a noble beast of special importance, exemplifying a king's honor and glory. Known in Thai as Chang Samkhan, a white elephant is a gift fit for a king and to acquire one during his reign, will bring about prosperity and happiness throughout the kingdom.

A terra cotta clay elephant.

Elephants are of immense importance in Thailand. They are smart land mammals and hard-working beasts, providing transportation for mankind. At times of war, elephants played an indispensable role in the war machine of Thailand and other Asian countries.

A wooden carved elephant.

Commanders fighting duels on elephant back, documented throughout Thai history, required strategic planning and great skills to lead armies to win wars. Elephants in battle played a sterling part in maintaining the sovereignty of Thailand in past war periods.

A stone carved elephant.

The elephant appears in many Thai proverbs and sayings and is an emblem on regalia of national importance such as prior national flags of Thailand, royal emblems, and royal decorations. Undoubtedly, the elephant holds pride of place as the national symbol of the Kingdom of Thailand.

A wooden elephant.


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