via The Nation, 06 May 2018:
The Fine Arts Department will spend Bt30 million on improving the Ayutthaya Elephant Palace & Royal Kraal. Sacred and rare rituals will be carried out at the facility on Monday to mark the start of conservation efforts.
Source: Historic elephant palace in Ayutthaya to get Bt30 million makeover – The Nation
Bangkok Post, 10 June 2017: Authorities are investigating the theft of centuries-old elephant tusks belonging to a Karen community in Tak province.
TAK: Authorities are trying to track down a pair of centuries-old carved elephant ivory tusks stolen from a Karen village in Umphang district.
Source: Ancient tusks stolen from Karen village | Bangkok Post: news
Harry Octavianus Sofian
Balai Arkeologi Palembang – Departemen Pendidikan Dan Kebudayaan Republik Indonesia
Gunungmegang statue is one of the site from Pasemah Megalithic Culture, located at the foot of the Mountain Dempo, Lahat Distric, South Sumatera Province – Indonesia. Pasemah megalithic culture is very unic, because the representation from the statue not stiff, but show dynamic activity,like Gunungmegang statue, show man holding the trunk of the elephant. This statue show us how the ancient people do domestication of wild elephants?
Of ethnographic interest. Filmmaker Erik Dettle emailed me a couple days ago to share his short documentary, Mahout: Changing Reigns, about the Gwi mahouts of Thailand and how elephant-raising has changed over time.
Check out the video here.
A couple years ago while in the field I managed to spend some time at the Elephant Conservation Center in Xayabouri, Laos, where I learnt a lot about the traditional practice of raising elephants, and some tourist practices do more harm than good to the elephants. I highly recommend them as a place to go to if you want to learn about elephants. One of my main takeaways from the experience is that elephants’ backs are actually very weak, and they are not suited to carrying weights on their backs! You’ll notice that the mahouts usually ride elephants on their front shoulders for that reason. If you find yourself in Southeast Asia and you have the option of riding an elephant on their backs – don’t do it!
A nearly-intact skeleton of an ancient skeleton was unearthed near the small town of Blora in Java. The elephant was estimated to have lived between one to two million years ago, possibly rubbing shoulders with the homo erectus. The fossil was excavate with the help of experts from Australia, and is on display at the Geology Museum in Bandung.
photo credit: wonker
Ancient Elephant Unearthed in Java
Jakarta Globe, 11 June 2009
Happy New Year! Well, the Thai new year has just passed and we have a link to Songkran in Wednesday Rojak new year edition. This week, we also get whisked away to the people and architecture of Myanmar, sports in Thailand and some news for photography buffs.
photo credit: rwp-roger