It is apparent that the single focus of this village is the breeding of elephants given the number of bulls around and the young offspring. The fellow shown below is going strong at age sixty.
Since very few outsiders visit Moo Baan Chang, the mother elephants are more open to people interacting with their babies. There are very few places where you could have a newly born elephant wrap his trunk around your arm.
There is a strong integration of Buddhism, Brahmanism, and Animism in the elephant village culture. In 1995, the Abbot of Wat Pa Arjiang in Moo Baan Chang dreamed of an elephant he had known many years before that had been killed in an auto accident. He brought the remains back and created the elephant cemetery. There are 100 graves here that are each shaded by a replica of an ancient Thai hat.
Khun Prachaub’s wife, Khun Lat, makes the elephant hair rings and bracelets from trimmings that are sold in The Elephant Story. Before, an elephant receives a haircut, it is blessed by one of the monks from the Buddhist temple.
Recently, the Thai news media noticed that Prime Minister Prayut wears an elephant hair bracelet similar to what we wear. When asked why, he said it protected him against black magic. In fact, Khun Prachaub had been quite ill and a Buddhist monk said he was possessed by black magic. Khun Prachuab served as a monk for two weeks this past month and began wearing an elephant hair bracelet on each wrist. There you have it!