Kong Khao Dok Basketry
A kong khao is a woven bamboo container for steamed glutinous rice. It is found in the Phai Mueang Mai Village of the Mueang Mai Sub-district, Chae Hom District, Lampang.
Two types of kong khao are made in Mueang Mai: the white or plain one and the patterned one. The former is made of strips of bamboo skin in its natural colour while the latter is made of bamboo skin strips dyed in black with the Siamese ebony wood woven with strips of undyed bamboo strips to create decorative motifs. The woven bamboo containers come with carved teak stands and slinging cords made of rattan. These kong khao can be woven into many different shapes such as kong khao kho kio (narrow-necked) and kong khao kho loeng (broad-necked). They are also decorated with different floral, or dok, motifs such as dok luang, dok chan paet klip, dok kambang, dok kambi, and dok kap chum motifs.
What is unique in woven bamboo boxes of the Mueang Mai Village is the double-layer weaving technique, which provides good ventilation while it keeps food moisture well. The steamed glutinous rice kept inside these bamboo boxes will neither be too soggy nor too dry and it can keep for a long time.
The kong khao items with intricate floral designs require special weaving skills and therefore they are reserved for use during special occasions such as when entertaining important guests or offering food to monks.