The Elephant Man

French photographer Charles Freger captured these stunning images during the Elephant Festival in Jaipur, India. The highlight of this event is a competition in which riders, known as mahouts, paint, dress and bejewel themselves as well as their elephants to compete for the honor of best dressed pair.  Mahouts are not only a rider, but also the trainer and keeper of the elephant.  Typically, they are born into this profession, paired with their elephant from a young age, and bonded for life.   Absolutely compelling, no?  I’m entranced by these beautiful traditions, sumptuous colors and the fascinating dynamic between mahout and elephant.  Anyone interested in taking a trip to India with me?     

Photos courtesy of National Geographic 

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