The Surrogation of the Spirits Dancing on the Ceremonial Ground (2021)
The belief about ‘Ghost” has been with Thai people including the ethnic groups for a long time from the family up to societal structure scale. This belief has been playing an important role by influencing and keeping order for the society. The ways the local or the ethnic groups from northern Thailand call the spirits can be categorized according to their “action”, “apparition”, “gender”, “behaviour”, “habitation”, “cause of death”, “what men offer to them” and “food offerings”. “Thai Yuan” is one of the “Tai” ethnic groups who speaks Tai – Kadai language also known as Lanna-Thai, Laotian, Thai Yuan or Yonok. This group was originally from the South of China where they dwelled since ancient times. Nowadays, Thai Yuan people have settled and are living in Northern Thailand in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Lampun, Nan and Phrae. They also settled in other provinces like Ratchaburi, Saraburi, Nakorn Pathom, and Bangkok. Every year, during the Thai New Year or Songkran festival, Thai Yuan people perform “Grandfather-Grandma’s or Ancestor’s Spirits Offering Ceremony”. They cook their local specialties and set up the “Offerings” for their ancestor’s spirits which, for them, are regarded as the protection and sentimental refuge.
The video creation of “ The Surrogation of the Spirits Dancing on the Ceremonial Ground” portrays the images of grandfather/grandmother shrine, votive offering dance, and the cooking of food for offering with the narration about the history of the ethnic group and their offerings making process.
“The Offerings” – They are mostly composed of the regular food that the people usually eat in daily life in the household or in their locality whether it be “Larb Moo” or Spicy Pork Salad, “Thai Yuan noodle”, “Northern Thai Green Chili Dip” and dessert. Sometimes, “Pork Head” or “ Steamed Chicken” are brought as part of the ceremony depending on the requirements and the financial status of the host.
“The Puja” or “The Ceremony” – At the auspicious moment, the senior of the family will perform “Puja” reciting prayers with the family who have their hands in prayer position. They then step out and wait until the candles and incense sticks are fully burnt and extinguished. This means the ancestral spirits have already well received the offerings. The family then removes the food from the ceremony to share and enjoy amongst them.
Kanom Kong or Khanom Kong Kwian is a type of ancient dessert that has a long history since the Ayutthaya period. There are main ingredients such as mung bean halves, palm sugar, sugar, and coconut milk. They are circle-shaped with crossed lines across the middle like a wagon wheel. Khanom Kong is often used in auspicious ceremonies.
HD digital video color and audio
Duration : 06:30 min