Modes of sitting whilst driving an elephant

The gembala gajah or mahouts in Perak, have the following expression for three modes of sitting on the elephant’s neck:

  • Belah Temiang – to sit with one leg tucked under and the other hanging down on one side (this phrase might be applied to the mode of riding on a side-saddle)
  • Tempok Katak – to sit with the right leg bent back on the right side and the left leg hanging down on the left
  • Chabang Halban – to sit with both legs hanging straight down

Maxwell, W. Notes and Queries 1. In W. E. Maxwell, Notes and Queries of the Malaysian Branch Royal Asiatic Society (reprint 15). Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian Branch Royal of the Royal Asiatic Society; 1997. p23.

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