Asia, Mainland Southeast Asia - Indochina, Myanmar, Southeast Asia

Myanmar – White Elephant

Myanmar 5000 banknote.

In Myanmar, and throughout southeast Asia, the white elephant is symbol of good fortune and power, and especially political power.  Vice President Agnew presented one to the King of Cambodia during the late 20th century.  In historic Thailand, the white elephant was a symbol of royal power and any that were discovered were presented to the king.  the prestige of kings was considered according to how many white elephants he possessed.

 

 

Banknote of Myanmar.

These buildings house the Assembly of the Union.  Established in the 2008 constitution, The Assembly of the Union is the bicameral legislative body of Myanmar.

 

Africa, Malawi, Southern Africa

Elephants of Malawi

Malawi, 50 kwacha, back

Elephants, a tree, and a safari vehicle in Kasungu National Park decorate the back of this banknote.

Kasungu National Park extends along the Zambian border.  It averages 1000 meters in elevation and is covered with woodlands and bush and numerous grassy river channels running through it.  It provides home for elephants and hippos, antelope, impala, zebras and buffalo.  The illustration shows a safari vehicle in the foreground and an elephant nearby, but the perspective belies the true size of our beloved creatures. 

photo from internet

Try this photo. 

Our elephants can be 4 meters tall!

      

  

detail from back of Malawi 50 kwacha banknote

 

 

 

African elephants are very social beings.  Both the men and women have tusks.  The elephants illustrated in the 50 kwacha note are a mother and child.  Herds are led by a matriarch, usually the oldest woman and consist of their daughters, sisters and their children.  The boys remain with the herd through adolescence and then generally move on.  The men tend to be loners but will sometimes congregate in smaller bachelor pods.  Now for the tree.

If you look closely, them immensity of the tree trunk can be seen below baby’s neck and through mama’s legs.  Yes, this appears to be none other than the wonderful Baobab!  Please compare it to this photo from the field.

“Tolkein Tree”, Liwonde national Park, Malawi

 

This baobab tree resides in Liwonde national Park, Malawi, which is just 250 miles are so, as the creatures roam, from Kasungu national park.

The baobab is also known as the “Tree of Life”.

 

 

As to why this particular tree is called the “Tolkein Tree”, well, that is a tale for another post.

For more stories from the Southern Africa in this website, click here.