Inside the military area is a place where the owners, assisted by the soldiers, put on different items on the caparisoned elephants, like howdas, head-crowns, matresses and forehead pieces. Although this area gets pretty crowded by tusked bulls, everything is made in a very relaxed way, and I could not see any tension on the elephants. The bulls, unchained and attended by only a single mahout/owner, also accept all sort of strange people walking around and between them, without a single indication of irritation. Impressing indeed.
The most important elephants, playing a vital part in the show, got war howdahs on their back, where weapons as spears etc can be kept during a fight.
Soldiers assist the mahouts to put the howdahs on their elephants. ... The howdah was secured on the elephant with a beautiful tail cap, and finally the double forehead caparison was attached.
and others got different kind of equipment, like cannons and other weapons.
|Elephant trainer Puy Jay Mau Sabmak from Pi Man village, Tamon, Chompon.|
The whole operation, incuding a large number of elephants, followed a structured rutine, while the elephants had some food to eat. Everything went very relaxed and smoothly, and I did not see a single elephant in bad mood or being nervous, exposing stereotypic behaviours.
|The result. The star elephant Num Sek is prepeared for the battle.|
After drinking, the elephants were taken out to the corner of the stadium at the mahout houses, where they stood in groups, browsing leaves, waiting for their different stage inputs.