Y Thu Knul

From the list of elephant persons Family: Knul

Y Thu Knul
Y  Knul
Portrait of elephant king Y Thu Knul donated by the French colonialists.
Personal details
Country Vietnam

Work locations
Title elephant owner -1938
Location at Buon Don village in Vietnam

Biography details

Y Thu Knul , Mnong village mahout in Vietnam

Born 1828 dead 1938 .

Y Thu Knul captured and tamed 400-500 elephants, why he is called The elephant king in Vietnam. He gave a white elephant to the king of Siam and was given the title Khun Ju Nop (Khunjunob), meaning "elephant Hunting king". He also founded the village Buon Don in Daklak, Vietnam.

According to Ma Phuong, the elephant king Y Thu Knul was born in 1828, his mother was an Ede, his father was a M'Nong, when Y Thu Knul was still in his mother's womb, his biological father became seriously ill and died. Then his mother married a Lao man. Because of this, posterity often mistakenly thinks that Y Thu Knul is of Laotian blood, even some people call him king of Laos, gru (chief) of Laos...

Y Thu KnulY Thu Knul with wife.

When the elephant king Y Thu Knul died, it was the French and King Bao Dai who built him a grave to pay their respects. His grave is next to the grave of his wife and children in Yok Don forest. become a place to visit for tourists from all over the world when traveling to Buon Don, it is also a cultural symbol of the Central Highlands people.
Ma Phuong (Y Nhi Ria) Ma Phuong is the fifth grandson of the elephant king Y Thu Knul.

Y Thu KnulThe grave of Y Thu Knul in the middle. A year after his death, in 1939, his nephew R'Leo Knul held the ceremony of 'grave abandoning and had a tomb built for him in the M'Nong-Laos architectural style. The tomb of R'Leo Knul himself lies next to his uncle's tomb. Photo: © Dan Koehl, 2012.


Total: 2 children

  1. H'No Knul. Born: ?. Dead: † 1941
  2. H'Hot Knul. Born: 1925?.

Reference list


Koehl, Dan, (2021). mahout H'Hot Knul in Vietnam. Elephant Encyclopedia, available online retrieved 12 August 2022 at https://www.elephant.se/person.php?id=576. (archived at the Wayback machine)

Sources used for this article is among others:

Selected publications

Links about H'Hot Knul

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Categories mahout | village | Buon Don village | Knul family | Mnong people | Born 1828 | Dead 1938 | People from Vietnam

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