An elephant in my garden. Ancient Cambodia part 2.



Have you ever imagined having an elephant in your garden? Their sheer size? The fact that elephants have a delicate skin and require daily bathing? This picture was taken around 1900 in Pnomh Penh. Possibly in King Norodom’s palace. The elephant is drinking from a jar on the ground. Well, traditions are kept up in today’s Cambodia, as you can see in the following picture:


Elephant in the street. Phnomh penh. Source:

16-2b mohadeb you

Mohadeb You. c. 1900

Despite all my research, I could not find who this severe gentleman was. Probably a high-ranking member of the Cambodian court during Norodom’s reign. He wears a western (French?) decoration on his luxury garments. Notice the bare feet. And the adorned hat on the table. Thaï influence? All I have is a handwritten name: Mohadeb You. Mohadeb or Mahadev is a sanskrit name, further proof of India’s influence that far East…

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13 thoughts on “An elephant in my garden. Ancient Cambodia part 2.

  1. How wonderful it must be to share your space with something as large and powerful as an elephant and yet be calm and not afraid. To share a equal space with each other is the rue place humans must come to. The elephant already is there, it is humans that need to come to that place. Oh to some day be able to walk together , power and those without being equal. Hugs

  2. I can imagine very well an elephant in the garden, but the diverse cohabitants in my appartment complex would certainly not like it at all although the garden behind the house would be really perfect for this purpose, plenty of green area, some old trees (mmmhhhhm, bon appètite ma chère éléphante), a.s.o.. But for sure just 5-10 minutes after 1st discovery the police would arrive in order to terminate this daydream.

    • Also needs a much bigger garden. 🙂
      We actually have a squirrel in the new garden. Quite cheeky. But very swift. It climbs all the way to branches a yard away form my window, but I haven’t been able to grab a good shot. With the camera. 😉

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