Mahout: Changing Reigns| 13mins
Director: Erik Dettle | Producer: Erik Dettle
Focus Years: 2014 | Country: United States
Mahout: Changing Reigns explores the cultural evolution of Thai mahouts and their legendary relationships with elephants, through the last living docents of a bygone era.
Northeast Thailand, was and is now, the home of the legendary Gwi tribe. The Gwi have been venerated by storytellers for many generations because of their unique culture and skills. The Gwi for centuries, have lived side by side with elephants: in the past, capturing, raising and training them for use in the army and Buddhist ceremonies, as well as for gifts to the kings of Thailand. Their daily lives, social hierarchy and religious practices were all defined by their relationships to the land and elephants. This relationship was fundamental in the development of Thailand as a nation and the entire region of Southeast Asia. As their landscape changed physically and politically, so too did the Gwi.
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