Elephant Netsuke




It was South African sculptor Andries Botha‘s wish, when he created the elephant totem or netsuke, that we take the elephant into our heart and literally hold it in our hand as a token of our partnership with the living earth.

These tiny elephant talismans re-interpret the Japanese tradition of netsuke into the ancient African tradition of the totem animal that formed part of our identity and forgotten ancestral legacy.

Each one is a unique Andries Botha elephant, cast in resin and an organic filler compound, hand finished by young South African artists and crafts people. This elephant project is a modest contribution to job creation.

The historical precedent of the netsuke as well as the African totem is well established. By carrying it on your person, the elephant is imbued with a poignant symbiotic quality, where we acknowledge our interconnectedness with other living species.
Some of the little elephants are white, and are symbolically linked to Andries’ guardian animals that he is placing at strategic locations around the world. First came the majestic White Lion in Timbavati. The second in the series is the white stone elephants in Olifantsfontein, Gauteng. This is an ongoing project. The third, the mighty herd guarding the entrance to Durban.

The intention of the elephant talisman is for it to be held on your person – to intimately connect us to these magnificent animals and to raise awareness of the plight of elephants in the world.

The elephant is a legendary symbol of good luck and restoration of memory and it is our fervent hope that this will be so for you.

You will receive your elephant totem in a handmade shweshwe drawstring bag, the product of a job creation project in Acornhoek, Mpumalanga.

Proceeds of this elephant will contribute to a number of social enrichment programs implemented through NPO Zingela Ulwazi . This is a project of the Andries Botha Foundation.

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