HISTORY OF MAHOUT
Current people are interested in technology or business and they do not look over surrounding maybe because globalize. I’m going to talk about the story that happened between human and animal. It’s like you pet a dog at home but it’s bigger. It’s the elephant. Most people think that the elephant is not interesting but it’s very interesting for me. The elephant is like a member of my family. We live together since the past until now. For me, as a modern administrator who look after elephant. Some things may have changed from the original but it change for better. The people know that the elephant is the symbol national of Thailand since ancient times.
The king used the elephant as a vehicle to travel and also use it in the war. Elephants have been revered in Thailand for many centuries. Famous as the strongest beasts of burden, in Thailand they were important in battle, with kings mounted on Elephants fighting the Burmese to defend Thailand on many occasions. There are not any machines in the past that is strong and violent. At the moment, the elephant is very important variable in battlefield. They also help people do other work such as build a house or drag timber. I think it is fantastic history between elephant and people.
My elephant is so big now. When I was young my father would take me to ride an elephant with him. We helped elephant talk a bath and make spa with natural herb. It sprays clay around its body in order to protect its skin from insect and hot sunlight or UV. The clay also helps elephant skin look nice. Most people think that feeding elephant is easy but it isn’t. It may be difficult for you but not for me. If you ask me “Is it hard to do? For sure, that I must answer “No”. First step, you must learn to love and understand elephant as you fail in love someone. The elephant is not the same other animal. It need spacious area or beside the river because it’s easy to take a bath and drink water. Food is important factor for elephant. The elephant is very big so it must eat too much so we have to prepare food to be ready. Banana is favorite food of elephant so we cannot forget it. If we look after elephant very well it will be healthy. When I started feeding elephant my father hadn’t let me to ride it. He told me that I must learn basic feeding first. I started with get up early and help my father collect elephant feces. It’s not different from feeding cow or buffalo. After that, I went to collect bananas, sugarcane and grasses for elephant. Later, I walked to the river for bathing. At the moment I feel little slight because I didn’t ride an elephant. Finally, my father taught me How to ride elephant and all of techniques living with elephant either. There are so many kind of riding elephant may be sometime you can order it sit and bend for you or maybe you jump to its black (If you can). I learned How to be a good mahout from my dad. He taught elephant perfectly and he could control the aggressive elephant easily. The elephant s will be aggressive when they need to breed. We call “Thok Man” in Thai or musth in English. I get a lot of knowledge from father. Although I have met many situations with elephant such as when it was aggressive or when it was happy that can’t make me love elephant less. It’s made me understand and love elephant more. The elephant is amazing animal. They quickly learn and obey the words of command. They get to know their driver (mahout), and get used to being mounted and dismounted. When I stay alone, it can be friend. I have seen elephant sine I was born. My father told me that He would ride elephant to take a bath every morning with me. (He always give me a lot of work ha ha ha ) I have been being a mahout since that time. I look after elephant instead my father and spend all of my time with them to learn their habit. I took many lesson and practice hardly in order to teach another people who interested lifestyle of mahout. This is our elephant culture.
There are so many activities a day and so many things that you never know before. If you are a person who interested in elephant or mahout lifestyle please, come to visit and come to be our family with concept “ELEPHANT CARER HOME” together.