Archives for posts with tag: thai

opium scaleL200xW90xD250mm, Thailand

The container is beautifully painted lacquer.
Inside is a scale for measuring opium,
with the weights on one side and the opium on the other.

bellW300xD140xH350mm, Thailand

There is a long history for domesticated elephant in Thailand; with the strength the elephants can offer, they are captured from the wild and trained (a bit like the domestication of horses and dogs).  The white elephants were offered to the King and worshiped, some were trained to be fighting elephants, as the one used by Queen Suriyothai’s carrier in the war with the Burmese in 1548AD.  Others were trained to be laborers for the forestry, pulling logs from the mountain down to the river.  To track the elephants, bells were put around their neck so they can be heard in the forest.

Here is a Thai folk tale about a boy and an elephant bell.

Once upon at time, there is a poor boy despite of his lack of education he was taught the virtue of respect.  One day the boy was lost in the forest,  he wandered fearfully and came face to came with a full grown elephant.  The huge elephant was strolling peacefully munching banana and other fruits.  Judging by the size of the elephant, the boy thought the elephant must be thousands of years old and must be respected, he kneeled and bowed giving his respect to the animal.  Touched by the act the elephant helped him to find his way home, then the elephant said to the little boy, “Here is a bell given to me by the King of the Elephants, ring it if you are in trouble and the other elephants will come to help you.”  Then one day, the boy and his father were in the forests collecting wood for the fire.  Lighting strike and they became stuck by a fallen tree.  The boy remembered the elephant’s word and rang the bell, soon a herd of elephants came and lift the fallen tree and relieved them.  At the same time, the wild elephant who gave him the bell was captured and being trained as a fighting elephant.  Unsuited to his general temperment, the elephant snapped, killed his mahout trainer and destroyed the village.  The news reached the King and the troops were sent to kill the elephant, when the boy heard the news he volunteer to go to tamed the elephant in exchange for him to be free.  As he entered the village, the elephant charged for an attack.  The boy generally kneel and bowed as he did before, as he rang the bell, the elephant remembered him and came close to him.  The elephant calmed down and followed him to meet with the King who kept his word and the elephant was free.

What we need today is respect for these animals.

Three beautiful films by Gregory Colbert.



Thai Buddha

W100xD70xH220mm, Thailand

Mudras are symbolic hand gestures, without the use of words it communicates the mind’s idea which is more powerful than language.

This is a Buddha statue in the Bhumisparsha Mudra posture, with his right hand resting on knee while reaching toward the earth and the left hand lies on the lap facing upward.  This gesture is also known as the “earth witness” which is the most iconic image of Buddhism.  This gesture symbolizes unshakability and steadfastness; the legend goes just before Siddhartha Gautama was enlightened to become the Buddha, demon Mara called upon his armies of monster to attacking, hoping to scare him away from his meditation under the bodhi tree.  Siddhartha stayed unshaken and  continued his mediation.  The demon claimed the enlightenment for himself and called for his monsters to give witness to his superior spiritual achievements, Mara then asked Siddhartha if anyone could give witness for him.  Siddhartha simply extended his hand to reach the ground and the earth responded and giving witness for him.  Mara was defeated at his own challenge and vanished.  The next day Siddhartha Gautama enlightened to become the Buddha himself.   The serene expression of this figurine best captured this moment of enlightenment.

Here is a monk practicing more mudra gestures.

buddha's birthday

W130xD70xH400mm, Thailand

Tomorrow is the 2557th birthday of the Buddha, Vesakh, a holy day that commensurate the birth, enlightenment and death of  Gautama Buddha by Buddhist all over the world.  The date of the celebration differ slightly throughout the different countries, 8th of lunar April, in Thailand for example, Vesakh is on the 24th May. 

On this special day, the devoted Buddhist will observe the 8 Precepts:

  1. I undertake the precept to refrain from destroying living creatures.
  2. I undertake the precept to refrain from taking that which is not given.
  3. I undertake the precept to refrain from sexual activity.
  4. I undertake the precept to refrain from incorrect speech.
  5. I undertake the precept to refrain from intoxicating drinks and drugs which lead to carelessness.
  6. I undertake the precept to refrain from eating at the forbidden time (i.e., after noon).
  7. I undertake the precept to refrain from dancing, singing, music, going to see entertainments, wearing garlands, using perfumes, and beautifying the body with cosmetics.
  8. I undertake the precept to refrain from lying on a high or luxurious sleeping place.

If you happen to be in Hong Kong, join in the celebration.

ASIAN FOLKCRAFT COLLECTION
SOIL X MOUNTAIN FOLKCRAFT

W270xD270xH280mm, Thailand

This bamboo weaved basket is known as a kratip, a container for cooked sticky rice.  They are a common item owned by every household.  The kratip is double weaved, acting as a insulator for keeping the rice warm.  Kratip comes in different shape and sizes, here is a smaller version.

Come and see the Asian Folkcraft Collection!

Opium Scale

L180xD90xH20mm, Thailand

For the Asian Folkcraft Collection, we have another tool – an opium scale.  This old scale is neatly set inside a teakwood case with carving on both side.

The scale is to be completed with a set of opium weights.

W100xD100xH250mm, Thailand

This is a old Thai monk figurine with folded palms,  namaskara mudra.  His palms are placed together at the level of the heart where in India is a traditional gesture of salutation and adoration, one of the oldest Indian mudras, a greeting expressed in the form of a prayer coming from one’s heart.

W150xD120xH370mm, Thailand

This is a Buddha statue in the Bhumisparsha Mudra posture, with his right hand resting on knee while reaching toward the earth and the left hand lies on the lap facing upward.  This gesture is also known as the “earth witness” which is the most iconic image of Buddhism.  This gesture symbolizes unshakability and steadfastness; the legend goes just before Siddhartha Gautama was enlightened to become the Buddha, demon Mara called upon his armies of monster to attacking, hoping to scare him away from his meditation under the bodhi tree.  Siddhartha stayed unshaken and  continued his mediation.  The demon claimed the enlightenment for himself and called for his monsters to give witness to his superior spiritual achievements, Mara then asked Siddhartha if anyone could give witness for him.  Siddhartha simply extended his hand to reach the ground and the earth responded and giving witness for him.  Mara was defeated at his own challenge and vanished.  The next day Siddhartha Gautama enlightened to become the Buddha himself.

Textile Width 340mm, Thailand

This is a piece of handwoven textile that has a beautiful pattern print on with the technique of stencil dyeing.  Stencil dyeing is a form of resist dyeing; a dye resistant paste is applied on the fabric through a stencil, colour pigment is then added on by hand giving detail shades to the pattern.

W80xL250xH400mm, Thailand

The most famous rooster in Thailand is perhaps the one which belonged to King Naresuan.  King Naresuan was the King of Ayutthaya between 1555 – 1605, he was most famous for freeing the Siam of Ayutthaya from Burmese rule and subsequently the expansion of his empire.  Now how does the roost come into the picture?  It is believed in popular legend that the young Prince Naresuan wagered a bet with the Burmese Prince of Ayutthaya that if Naresuan’s rooster would won the cock fight, Ayutthaya would be freed from Burmese rule and of course the rooster being as couragous as his master won fiercelessly.  Ceramic rooster statues can be seen as offering to King Naresuan in a few temples in Ayutthaya.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 307 other followers