Yan Li Phao Basketry
Yan Li Phao basketry is made of a type of vine in the Lygodium fern family which grows profusely in the South of Thailand. Called yan in the Southern vernacular, the vine of this plant is very sturdy and therefore suitable for basketry. The centre of this craft is in Mon Village, Tha Ruea Sub-District, Mueang District, Nakhon Si Thammarat.
The weaving process of yan li phao basketry starts with the splitting of the vine into very fine strips and the smoothing of their surface. The strips are then woven onto the frames made of rattan or bamboo to produce various types of container such as wide-rimmed baskets, betel nut boxes, tobacco boxes, footed trays, teapot holders, ceremonial bowls for flowers, candles and incense sticks, bird cages, and handbags. Besides the weaving designs, the different natural colours of the li phao vine strips and the bamboo or Ling Ro warps also add to the beauty of the products. Decorative pieces in silver and gold nielloware added to the baskets increase their value.
Yan li phao basketry demonstrates the intricacy and perseverance of the craftsmen and brings pride and joy to the owners. Moreover, the li phao vine weaving technique has developed further both in the design and the decoration of the products. There are now many types of yan li phao souvenirs.