"Wading neck deep in a swamp, your revolver is neither use nor ornament until you have had time to clean it" Mary H. Kingsley (1897)

Elephant Boys

This festival included elephants, each bearing three or four young men.

The boys are not mahouts, they are performers. Their role is almost that of cheerleaders.

They hold aloft the brightly coloured silk parasols.

From atop the elephants, they display decorated white woollen fleeces and peacock feathers in a carefully choreographed routine, which adds further drama to the musical crescendos.

But as the small orchestra quietens

The boys slip into laughter, conversation or their own private thoughts.


As for the mahouts,

They keep a lower profile.



2 responses

  1. There is never a dull moment for the men. Do the women take part in festivals?

    March 24, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    • There are some girl musicians in civic ceremonies but the temple festivals seem to be a male preserve, as far as spectacle is concerned.

      March 24, 2011 at 1:48 pm

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