The Painted Elephants of Jaipur

The Elephant Festival in Jaipur, India, is a yearly tradition each March. High-ranking pachyderms are primped and treated to a full make-over by caretakers known as Mahouts, who decorate them in jeweled head-plates, drape with brocade jhools, or saddle cloths, and adorn the tusks with gold and silver bracelets.

Not only are the elephants decked out in their finest festival attire, they’re also encouraged to play polo, dance, and join a human tug-of-war. French photographer Charles Fréger was on hand to capture the more festooned of the gentle giants…

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