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  •   Background and Rationale

    To develop the ethnic groups database where systematized research data are available online and can be made use of by interested parties or individuals, following the subjects or topics of their interests, and thus making it easier for them to sum up the essential points necessary for further in-depth studies. 

    S'gaw youth at Mowakee Chaingmai

    Less savings. Much to share.

    S'gaw's proverb
    Mowakee Chaingmai

    Salak Yom Festival
    Pratupha Temple

    Sea as Home of Urak Lawoi, Moken, Moklen

    Rawai beach Phuket Thailand


    Computer class of S'gaw students
    Mae La Noi , Maehongson

    Khaw Rai (Rice)
    produced from rotational farming
    Li Wo, Kanchanaburi


    S'gaw woman at Hin Lad Nai village

    Fermented Beans

    Important ingredient of Tai


    Phlong(Pwo) woman

    Li Wo village

    Boon Khaw Mai rite

    Phlong at Li Wo


    Little Prince of Tai

    Ordination in Summer of Tai boys


    Boys are ordained as novice monks

     Poi Sang Long is the tradition of the Tai. 

    Be novice monk to learn Buddhism


    Tai-art  mural painting of  Buddha 
    at Wat Chong Kam Chong Klang
    Maehongson Thailand

    Wat Chong-Kam, Chong Klang

    Hmong childs at Ban Kewkarn
  •   Smile

    Smile in problems
    Urak  Lawai at Rawai Phuket
  •   Hybrid




  Ethnic Classification and Ethnic Group Names in the Database

   Since the information at hand is not yet enough for systematic categorization by ethnic characteristics, ethnic groups in the database are classified by their names instead. As mentioned previously, the working team has made a decision to use the ethnic self-identified names as for these following reasons.

   Firstly, those names identified by others are likely to suggest an insulting implication making the ethnic members prefer their self-identified names. A privilege to identify oneself is regarded as fundamental rights of all human beings.

    Secondly, using self-identified names attributes to a more precision in the identification of ethnic groups regarding their ethnic origins, ethnic cultural identities and areas of habitation whereas names identified by others are relatively ambiguous. For example, the term “Lua” refers to some ethnic groups with different ethnic identities, histories and cultures. That is, “Lavu’a” “Lua” and “Plang” are all broadly labeled as “Lua”.

   Since self-identified names of ethnic groups are not well-known, the table comparing the names, self-identified and identified by others, is designed to facilitate the searching. Moreover, the project provides some information of the ethnic language families according to the language family classification by Prof. Dr. Suwilai Premsrirat (2006) in order to point out the relationship between ethnic groups in the linguistic aspect.

   Initially, the table lists only the names of ethnic groups in Thailand as there are very few summarized records of the neighboring countries in Southeast Asia.

   However, users should realize that the names of ethnic groups and the ethnic classification are subject to change. In fact, they are characterized by dynamics in accordance with historical, social, and political contexts as well as intentions and the purposes of the classification. Also it should be noted that members of each ethnic groups may identify themselves differently. For instance, the senior generation of the “Lao Song” does not have problems calling themselves “Lao Song” whereas the younger generations are more satisfied when identified as “Thai Song” (Chavivan Prachuabmoh and Waranun Worawit 2000). Therefore, it is possible that it will be changing in the future.

Assist. Prof. Chavivan Prachuabmoh


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