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09 March 2010

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Martyn

Lawrence you've partially explained something which has puzzled me on and off for a few years, the symbolic white horse.

When travelling from Wilai's village to Udon Thani we pass a building which has an old white horse like the one in your photo under a car port. I have seen the horse paraded once before and knew it had some kind of Buddhist meaning but didn't know what. Your mention of it being a sign of royalty explains it partly but dare I mention the one I see is literally hung like a horse.

Lawrence

Hi Martyn

I replied to this yesterday but somehow it must have got rejected!

Yes, the Buddha as Prince Siddartha had a horse described as a "magnificent steed" so maybe that is just a euphemism. Only a sort vowel shift to stud, after all.

This horse is the same as the one you describe, I have seen him in his stable. But notice how his (or someone else's) modesty is preserved by the large carpet slung over his back. He gets a new lick of paint every year I think.

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