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Throughout history elephants have been objects of worship and subjects of stories and song.  In China, the elephant (chia yen) is considered to be one of the Seven Treasures of Buddhism.   The white elephant, a sacred  animal, is believed to have announced the Buddha’s birth.   Hindu mythology includes “Ganesha,” the Elephant-God. This deity has many names and faces. Ganesha has many names and purposes. The most prominent elephant gods are:

  • Ganapati: lord of the tribe
  • Vigneshwara: controls all obstacles
  • Vinayaka: a prominent leader
  • Gajanana: elephant faced person
  • Gajadhipati: Lord of all elephants
  • Lambkarna: A long eared being
  • Lambodara: pendant with large belly
  • Ekadanta: has only one tusk
  • Gajavadana: an elephant face
    Shoorpa-Karna: small ears
  • Chaturbhuja: has a a red-complexion and rides upon a mouse. This deity has four hands. Three of which carry a Pasha (rope), Ankusha (a curved spear) and Modaka (a sweet pudding dish). The fourth hand gestures a message of help and protection.
  • Some balloon shapes simply scream that they need to become elephants and I am happy to oblige.   The first two elephants I created became gifts to my daughter and grand daughter. It was both fun and challenging to detail the figurines in the same manner as decorated Indian elephants.

    Currently I have 6 unfinished elephants waiting to be painted.  My artistic neighbor says I should leave them plain.  Hmmm.  I like to paint them, I’ll have to ponder a while. In the mean time here they are in their current form. I made a measuring ruler that marks off inches in the form of paw prints. Most of the elephants are at least 6 paws tall.


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