“Les petits éléphants de Chiangrai”
Elephants were commonly found in the northern Thai kingdom of Lanna in the old days. Thai history and folklore is rich with legends of the elephant, from the use of these majestic creatures on ancient battlefields to the colonial era, where they were used as ‘machinery’ in the logging industry by the British East India Company.
Elephants played a vital role in the logging industry in the Lanna kingdom – without their strength and endurance, these merchants would have found it very difficult in getting their produce to market. The people of the kingdom of Lanna also used their elephants as a means of transportation.
White elephants, which are exceedingly rare, were and are still considered sacred by the Thai people. Nowadays, modernity has encroached on these old and ancient ways, changing our society and our environment, and we now find the elephant an endangered species in Thailand. To support these culturally significant and endangered animals,
Greenwing has launched the “Small Chiang Rai Elephant” project. Although these baby elephants, the “Chiang Rai Elephant”, cannot be used for transportation as in the days of old, they can still promote the kingdom of Lanna’s rich cultural heritage as ‘Ambassadors of Art’.
This program provides local Chiang Rai artists with a canvas on which to share their art by transforming a “Chiang Rai Elephant” into a piece of art that can be shared with the people of Chiang Rai, and the people of Thailand as a whole.
Greenwing is very proud of this project. We hope to bring the elephants of the Lanna kingdom to life for a new generation of Thai people, and demonstrate the importance of the elephant in Lanna history and culture. In this way, while the role of the elephant is no longer a functional one as in days gone by, they can remain a cultural icon – reminding current generations of the ways of the old people and the magic and history of the kingdom of Lanna.
These “Chiang Rai Elephants” can be experienced at any of our 60 Greenwing showrooms.
|Kobchai Jitsakula, M.D.|
|President of the board of Aliance Franco-Thai Chiangrai|
|President of Greenwing Co.,Ltd.|
|March 13 , 2015|