Click here to skip to content

Elephant at work [Rangoon] 88120

Elephant at work [Rangoon] 88120

Photographer: Klier, Philip Adolphe (c.1845-1911)

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1895

Shelfmark: Photo 88/1(20)

Item number: 88120

Length: 21.2

Width: 27.3

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of an elephant at work in a teak yard at Rangoon (Yangon), Burma (Myanmar), taken by Philip Adolphe Klier in the 1890s. This view shows the elephant carrying a baulk of timber between trunk and tusks with the mahout (handler) seated on the animal’s back. The Asian elephant has laboured for man for centuries. Burma still has the world’s largest herd of working elephants, most of which are used in logging and agriculture. The country’s vast mixed deciduous forests are one of its greatest natural resources and as long as the forests remain the working elephant and the ancient traditions that go with it are perpetuated, although mechanised logging and decimation of forests has reduced the populations of elephants elsewhere in Asia. In the 19th century when it was under British rule timber (particularly teak) was one of Burma’s three principal export commodities, the others being rice and oil. Timber was extracted using elephants and buffalo, and floated in raft down rivers such as the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) to timber yards and saw mills in Rangoon and other towns where it was classified and sold locally or sawn up for export to Europe.

Search within this collection

Elsewhere on our websites

Newsletter

Latest events - register free online

Mobile app

For iPhone, iPad and Android

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Email link to a friend

Write a brief note to accompany the email

Your friend's email address: