Saturday, January 25, 2014
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
"High-ranking government officials are paying thousands of dollars for wild boar tusks, and the demand is rising, tusk vendors say. The sacred tusks are believed to offer powerful protection from accidents and ill fortune.
Military leaders had been the major customers for the tusks, which were traditionally sought as lucky charms in battle, but now politicians are snapping them up.
Ly Srey Poch, who has been selling the tusks for 10 years at shop near Kolen Mountain in Siem Reap, says her clients came from Cambodia and some paid thousands of dollars for a single tusk. The tusks are also valued by Thais, she said.
“High-ranking government officials, rich people and business people are my main customers now,” she added.
Vendor Som Chamreoun said that besides protection, buyers believed the tusks could bring harmony and happiness to their families.
Tusks that were not carved or chipped were most valued, he said, explaining that historically they had been seen as offering protection in battle against being stabbed, burned or shot.
Researchers have found that belief in the tusks’ sacredness is ancient.
Possession of them has historically been associated with power, they say. Owning a tusk was a way of distinguishing oneself from ordinary people."