The intangible cultural heritage in Thailand is manifested in 7 domains:
The performing arts range from music, dance and theatre; traditionally, elaborately and/or contemporarily performed in front of a live audience with the intention of creating aesthetics, entertainment and/or performances which stimulate the process of critical thinking leading to development and social changes.
(1) Vocal and Instrumental Music;
It is the sound of music performed on musical instruments and singing that makes up a tune which can create pleasure and emotional expressions. The role and function of music for individuals is to manipulate their own moods, to serve as musical expressions and a source of entertainment as well as to accompany rites and ceremonies or performances. Music is thus an adjunct to ritual and dance drama.
(2) Dance and Theatre;
Dance and theatre convey physical expressions, rhythmic movements, steps and gestures of dance, puppet manipulating, voice-over, vocal range, singing, screenplay and props etc. reflecting a sentiment or mood or illustrating a specific event or daily act. The performance can be accompanied or unaccompanied by music and singing on the occasion of rituals and initiations, all kinds of entertainment as well as many other social functions.
These are the skills and knowledge involved in craftsmanship, in selecting materials and methods to create crafts which reflect the identities and socio-cultural development within their own communities.
(1)Textile and Textile Products
These are products made by weaving, dying, knitting, embroidering, twisted face-pairing, adding extra weft threads and pulling weft thread technique, weft ikat, printing motifs, khit and tapestry-based technique. It is used for making clothes and identifying the social status of the wearer.
These are household objects made from locally available materials such as bamboo, rattan, krachut (Lepironia articulate (Retz.) Domin), lamchiak (Pandanus odoratissimus Linn). The materials are split or “chak” into long, thin strips before they are weaved or “san”–hence the name “Khreuang Chak San” (“Split and weave objects”-basketry). There are several weaving methods, such as knitting, tying, fastening, binding, stringing. Strips of bamboo or rattan are used for weaving so that the objects can be durable and retain their shape for a long time.
These are handicrafts coated with lacquer made from the gum of Rak tree (Melanorrhoea usitata Wall.) Various applications and techniques are used to make lacquer objects, for example, the gilt lacquer, gold appliqué on lacquer, kammalo (Japanese style lacquer object), mother-of-pearl or coloured glass inlay on lacquer, pan kranae (gilt stucco work), and khoen (vermillion paint on lacquer). The gum from Rak tree is viscous and sticky. It holds fast to the surface of objects and when the gum dries, it makes a smooth and shiny surface and is resistant to heat, moisture, weak acid or alkaline. Rak’s gum also acts as a binding agent for samuk (ground charcoal of dried banana leaves and lalang grass, used as a primer on surfaces of wood to be gilded with gold leaves) or other colours.
These are handicrafts that use clay as the principal raw material. Pottery comes in glazed and unglazed version. The clay must be mixed with fine sand from the river, which helps to make the clay dry well and prevent cracking. Different types of clay from various sites give different colours to the pottery.
(5) Metal Work
These include objects utilizing iron, brass, or copper as the principal raw material. Iron-based material is heated to make it soft and then beaten into shape. Brass work is made by heating brass until it becomes molten before pouring it into a mould. After cooling it down and taking it out of the mould, it is chased and dressed. Copper is mostly used as the principal composite in the silver alloy jewelry.
These are handicrafts made from logs or planks of wood for use as building material in the Khrueang Sap house (house built by wooden joints, without using metal nails), furniture, altar offerings, altar set, costume accessories, tools, weapons, musical instruments, toys, vehicles. Techniques used are carving, sculpturing, chopping, digging, piercing, turning on the lathe, planing, scraping, and polishing.
These are folk handicrafts made from animal raw hides and skins that are soaked in alkali solution and tanned to prevent petrification and to soften them and make them flexible. The material commonly used for prop construction in performing arts is leather.
These are purely decorative elements for beauty. They are primarily made from locally available materials, and later, developed using valuable materials such as gems and precious stones.
(9) Folk Art
Folk art, created for the purpose of making a living or fulfilling the aesthetic value, can concretely express emotions through craftsmanship. It includes painting, sculptures, carving, and casting etc.
(10) Other Kinds of Craftsmanship
There are many other kinds of traditional craftsmanship that cannot be classified in the aforementioned nine categories. They may involve crafts made from local materials or waste materials.
DefinitionsIt is transmitted in the folk way of living by word of mouth and written language.
(1) Folk Tales
These are stories transmitted from generation to generation. Included are myths, religious tales, didactic tales, fairy tales, romantic tales, explanatory tales, animal tales, ghost tales, jokes/humorous anecdotes, formula tales.
(2) Oral History
It is the collection of historical information about places, individuals, families, important events, religious objects and sites or everyday life. Included are explanations about local beliefs, rites and rituals.
They are chanted during the various rites and rituals, for example, religious prays, Kham Sama (incantation of asking forgiveness), Kham Wen Than(incantation for transferring the merit), incantation for traditional healing ritual, blessings and wishes.
(4) Folk Verbal Scripts
These are chants passed on since time immemorial such as lullabies, courtship, ritual dialogues and local singing etc.
(5) Idioms and Adages
These are words or expressions transmitted, mostly rhyme or play on words, for example, phrases, epigrams, aphorisms, metaphors, slogans, mottos, swear words/vows, curses/spells, eulogies and slang.
The wordplays in the form of questions which are inherited through
generations, for example, riddles and trick questions.
It is the knowledge recorded in Ancient Documentary, for example, books of astrology, books related to the human and animal’s physiology, pharmacopeias etc.
This is the art of fighting for entertainment or recreational purposes, to develop the physical and mental qualities, all of which reflects the way of life, society and identity of the Thai community.
As of the revised version on 27 March 2014, there are 3 types:
(1) Folk Plays
They are volunteer activities in accordance with the local identities, intended to increase pleasure, fun, and happiness. In return, these activities can produce a feeling of love and also contribute to social cohesion and a sense of togetherness in the community.
(2) Folk Games and Sports
Folk games and sports include games and competitions of strength and agility based on locally specialized disciplines and defined rules, which aimed at results.
(3) Martial Arts
The term “martial arts” or “the art of self- defense” refers to the various fighting styles both using human body and a large variety of equipments trained and developed throughout centuries from generation to generation in their own cultural groups.
These are habitual activities that structure the lives of communities shared by and relevant to their members. They reaffirm the identity of those who practise them as a cultural group in a peaceful society.
It is a code of behaviour based on treating others with honesty, respect, and consideration.
(2) Customs and Traditions
It is the handing down from generation to generation of the same way of practices and activities in a community.
2.1 Religious Ceremonies
2.3 Rites of Passage
2.4 Ways of Life and Living Conditions.
They include knowledge, know-how, skills, practices and representations developed by communities by interacting with the natural and supernatural environment.
(1) Food and Nutrition
It is about what food humans eat including the preparation and cooking good food, its consumption style and its nutritional values.
(2) Thai Traditional Medicine and Folk Medicine
Thai traditional medicine is defined as the medical processes dealing with the examination, diagnosis, therapy, treatment, or prevention of diseases, or promotion and rehabilitation of the health of humans or animals, based on the Thai knowledge or Thai textbooks that were passed on and developed from generation to generation. Folk Medicine is the knowledge in managing traditional healthcare
in the community, which is embraced by the community, becomes a part of the way of life of its people, and is associated with its belief, rite, culture, tradition and resources, which are different in each community.
(3) Astrology and Astronomy
Astrology refers to the knowledge of divination using astronomical calculations for the positions of the stars and planets to determine an individual’s personality and future. Astrologers attempt to correlate astrological aspects or sign positions with earthly events and human affairs.
Astronomy is to understand the physics of the universe. Astronomers study the actual stars and planets and consistently use the scientific method, naturalistic presuppositions and abstract mathematical reasoning to investigate or explain phenomena in the universe.
(4) Natural Resources Management
It is to manage natural resources so as to contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources and the protection of the environment, including ecosystems.
(5) Site and Settlement
It is the knowledge and the belief in settlement site selection in harmony with culture and environment. The site is the actual place where people decide to locate their settlement.
Language is a tool for communication that enables humans to express their lifestyles reflecting worldview, wisdom and culture of each community depending on whether the language is spoken, signed, or written.
Thai Language is the national or official language of Thailand.
(2) Dialects and Related Languages
The term “dialect” refers to a variety of a language that is a characteristic of a particular group of the language's speakers. Thailand is home to dialects and other related Tai languages. Native speakers often identify them as regional variants of the same Thai language, or as different kinds of Thai. The regional speech patterns communicated in each region are Central Plain Thai, Isan (Northeastern Thai), Phasa Nuea, (Northern Thai) Phasa Tai (Southern Thai) and other ethnic languages spoken in various regional communities throughout Thailand such as Northern Khmer, Melayu Patani, Hmong, Akha, Chong, Moken, Lue, Yong, Nyaw, Phutai, Phuan and Thai Khorat etc.
(3) Symbolic Language
It is a specialized language dependent upon the use of symbols for communication through hands, gestures or signs etc.