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ISBN: 9780714150758 Category:

Sarah Longair


Elephants have captivated humans for millennia for their sheer size, intelligence and unique physical features. In some parts of the world, elephants have been tamed and trained by humans for exploitation in warfare and labour, while in other regions they roam free, dominating their environment. This delightful giftbook celebrates the enduring fascination with this majestic animal through a wide variety of British Museum objects representing or inspired by elephants. The Bamileke in Cameroon donned spectacular trunked masks for their elephant masquerade. Sixteenth-century European artists, when learning the art of drawing animals, practised images of elephants, whether or not they had seen one in real life. Ganesh, the elephantheaded Hindu god, is depicted in many wonderful sculptures. For European cartographers, elephants became a motif for the exotic or the unknown on woodcuts and maps. All over the world, these great animals have a multitude of symbolism attached to them, and their intelligence makes them respected and beloved. Humans have praised them in prose, verse and proverb and have depicted them visually in almost every possible medium. The quirky selections and illustrations in this charming anthology make a fitting tribute to one of earth’s most remarkable creatures.

Additional information

Weight 332 g
Dimensions 15.9 x 19.4 cm
Publisher name The British Museum Press
Publication date 1 October 2008
Number of pages 96
Format Hardback
Contributors Edited by Sarah Longair
Dimensions 15.9 x 19.4 cm
Weight 332 g


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