Life-Sized Statue of Nepalese Micro-Elephant
Gift of Nepalese royalty to Dr. Mycenae T. Consonant for the original Repository Collection
Jade, c. 800 BC
1 ¼” x 1 ¼” (shown roughly full size)
Evolved from the Dwarf Elephants of Crete, forerunner to today’s largest land mammals of Asia and Africa, the once abundant Micro-Elephants (or “Minikins”) roamed throughout the Mediterranean region, crossing over to Northern Africa, eventually finding their way to the Indo-Chinese border. They settled in the mountains of Nepal, where they were considered sacred. Ancient texts recall their trumpeting bellows, which could be heard from several feet away; and the site of a large herd — which spread for several yards at the peak of their population — was an inspiration, when they were not being trodden upon. Little evidence of the existence of these mighty, albeit tiny, creatures remains to this day. There are reports of an extant Minikin skeleton in good condition stored in a reliquary in a Nepalese temple, but outsiders are forbidden to view it.