Stories
The Elephant Story

The Gift of Good

The Elephant Story

Girls love gifts. Good gifts remind us of a special event or were given to us by a special person. The great ones are both. And the best ones come in multiples.

Given this, I guess I’m a pretty lucky girl¬† to have recently been the recipient of both an 100-year-old Laotian handwoven blanket and a delicate silver bracelet threaded with elephant hair. The blanket was selected amongst various other beautiful textiles arranged in small colorful stacks at a Bangkok antique store located next to the Chao Phraya River at the Si Phraya Pier. I chose one of faded greys and creams, with a rough-hewn boarder showing numerous repairs and hand stitches.¬† Laos is known for their textiles, handwoven by the hill tribes, famous for their silk weaving gaining international acclaim as far back as the Tang Dynasty when Chinese merchants admired their craft. Laotian textiles made their way to the robust Thai antique market, as Laos was closed to international tourism until the late 80s. I can’t wait to hang it on our wall. If you’re ever in Bangkok, be sure to visit River City.

 

The second gift, pictured here, was spotted in a jewelry case at the charming little shop housed in my all-time favorite hotel, The Siam. I later found out that a portion of the profits go to The Elephant Story, an elephant conservation organization that works to increase the awareness of the impact that deforestation in Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar has on the endangered Asian elephant. The Elephant Story partners with a number of local organizations that support the reintegration of exploited urban elephants back into their natural habitats, while assisting the families of their caretakers so as not to reduce their livelihood. They also support traditional southeast Asian crafts. Though I don’t have “helps beautiful creatures, including humans” in my gift criteria, it certainly makes me even happier when I put on my bracelet.