A Sri-Lankan tailor, Kishinchand Chadiram Thadhani, has been designing and sewing elephant festival clothing for the last half century. Embellished in embroidered saddle blankets with kaleidoscopic bulbs, elephants are essential members of traditional Buddhist festivals. These animals march the streets together with dancers, drummers and torch bearers. The dressmaker elaborates designs of their festival garments and brings the ideas to life.
"When I saw these badly dressed elephants, while humans wore fancy clothing, I decided on my job,"– Kishinchand says. Thadhani has finished more than 2.5 thousand pieces of clothing, each priced for 50-150 000 Sri Lankan rupees, which equals to 400-1000 USD. Therefore, an elephant dressmaker is not a mere creative activity but quite a profitable business.