June 18, 2010

Old Posters bring old nemories of the brave Elephant round up

On 18 March 2010, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) just turned 50 ! The old name was Tourist Organization of Thailand and I found this old poster from the organization ‘s exhibition .

The English poster said :

“Elephant round up
November 16-17 ,1963

in Thailand
Ask your travel agents or write the tourist organization of Thailand for details…”

You can see clearly that the elephant tamer hold a long stick with a lasso rope for catching a wild elephant.

The Thai word for “elephant round up” is “คล้องช้าง” (Klong-Chang) .The word Chang is means Elephant (So Chang Beer is means elephant beer!)

Oh 1963! Seem like a lifetime ago ! The Vietnam war still raging on and the American Military involving more and more in Vietnam,Laos and Thailand at that time.

The address of this poster still use the old one at Rajdamnoen Ave ,not far from Khaosan road and the main royal palace.
Wow……Thailand changed a lot in the past 50 years.

The elephant round up is an archaic traditional Siam practice of round up wild elephants in to a big trap by a group of hunters –tamer and some domesticated elephants . Those wild one will be tamed to work as a domesticated elephant work force.

But the Thai version said something a bit different :

Hard to see! Exciting!

Also It’s just the elephant show not a word mentioned any thing about round up .I thinks that because the word might not so catchy in Thai .

Also this is said clearly that the show locates in Surin province in the Northeast and close to Cambodian border. Years later,This show will organizes annually in the province and become famous worldwide.

But the group of Tamers who handdle an ancient art of capturing one of the most dangerous and biggest wild animal and tamed them for domestic use are the "Suay" or "Kuy" people.(call kuy is more polite) .They are Not ethinic Thai or Lao or not even Cambodian.They are an ethnic group of their own and one of the oldest settler in this region.

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