Thursday, May 1, 2014
In ancient times the Baiyue ethnic group, the ancestor of today’s Dai ethnic minority, lived alongside with elephants in the south of Yunnan Province. Dai people and wild elephants dwelling in Yunnan’s tropical forests continue to get along very well with each other.
Since the Dai Minority people regard elephants as the symbol of the mighty and the strong, the chaste and the steady, they treat elephants as the key topic in all forms of art and literature, and they pin their pursuit for "the true, the kind and the beautiful" on elephants.
In Chinese, the phrase ‘elephant rider’ sounds similar to ‘auspicious’ or ‘fortunate’. My latest painting is of this magnificent, but sadly, vanishing animal and her fortunate riders in Xishuangbanna, China.
By Mary Frankel
16" X 12" Oil on Linen