Jump to content

Albino/white Elephants In Thailand


Svenn

Recommended Posts

Next door there is this thai fellow with an elephant he takes out occasionally into the city to make some cash. It seems fairly well taken care of. Anyway, I was thinking it'd be really cool to get married on, or use in a ceremony, an elephant painted white like in the old flag of Siam or Laos. But would it be inappropriate for commoners to have a white elephant, even if it was just white with makeup temporarily? I'm also interested in the general history of this subject in Thai religion if anyone is aware of it.

thai_king_ceb.jpg

white_elephant.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"In buddhism the elephant is a symbol of mental strenght. At the beginning of one's practice the uncontrolled mind is symbolised by a gray elephant who can run wild any moment and destroy everything on his way. After practising dharma and taming one's mind, the mind which is now brought under control is symbolised by a white elephant strong and powerful, who can be directed wherever one wishes and destroy all the obstacles on his way."

Taken from here

http://ccbs.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTEXT/JR-BH/bh117490.htm

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Next door there is this thai fellow with an elephant he takes out occasionally into the city to make some cash. It seems fairly well taken care of. Anyway, I was thinking it'd be really cool to get married on, or use in a ceremony, an elephant painted white like in the old flag of Siam or Laos. But would it be inappropriate for commoners to have a white elephant, even if it was just white with makeup temporarily? I'm also interested in the general history of this subject in Thai religion if anyone is aware of it.

thai_king_ceb.jpg

white_elephant.jpg

:o I'm not an expert...but I would advise against using an elephant painted/dyed white. First of all it wouldn't be good for the elephant. But more importantly, in Thailand, at least by tradition, any white elephants born are presented to the Royal family, they are a symbol of the King. At best a white dyed elephant could be considered an insult to the King irregardless of your good intentions. To make an analogy from the U.K, a white elephant used in a wedding might be like someone wearing the portrait of the english Queen on the seat of their trousers.

I advise you to forget the idea.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

:o I'm not an expert...but I would advise against using an elephant painted/dyed white. First of all it wouldn't be good for the elephant. But more importantly, in Thailand, at least by tradition, any white elephants born are presented to the Royal family, they are a symbol of the King. At best a white dyed elephant could be considered an insult to the King irregardless of your good intentions. To make an analogy from the U.K, a white elephant used in a wedding might be like someone wearing the portrait of the english Queen on the seat of their trousers.

I advise you to forget the idea.

I'm fairly confident the analogy isn't as extreme as the Queen on the trousers (why do farangs always overestimate the sensitivity of thais?), but I heard a similar reply to your's so I am indeed going to forget the idea to err on the side of safety... too bad, I was getting excited about it. I am however thinking about a dying a water buffalo white:

istockphoto_2530678-albino-buffalo.jpg

I'm sure there's a safe way to do it without harming the creature.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've edited the topic title and moved the topic to General Topics since the chang pheuak phenomenon comes out of Thai animism and/or Brahmanism rather than Buddhism.

The chang pheuak ('taro elephant,' aka chang samkan or 'important elephant'), incidentally, is neither white nor an albino. They are not devoid of pigment and do not have pink eyes. Paler skin is only one attribute among many that meets the qualifications for offering to royalty as laid out in Brahman texts. Others include a mellifluous call, a beautiful tail, a long trunk, and 'fragrant' droppings. Only one of the 11 white elephants in the current royal collection is strikingly pale. The other 10 look like normal elephants to the untrained eye.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.




×
×
  • Create New...