Iskandar Muda

In the early days it was the privilege of kings to ride an elephant. Like king Iskandar Muda (1607-1636) of Aceh about whom Augustin de Beaulieu wrote in 1621:

‘The king of Aceh is stronger than his neighbours on the seas. The king gives a name to each elephant, and pays great honour to those that he sees as the most courageous and best trained… For when they go to the streets, he has umbrellas carried for them…’
(Witnesses to Sumatra. A Travellers’ Anthology. Compiled and Introduced by Anthony Reid. The tyranny of Iskandar Muda, Augustin de Beaulieu, p. 72.)