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    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

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    S'gaw's proverb
    Mowakee Chaingmai

    Salak Yom Festival
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    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
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    Smile in problems
    Urak  Lawai at Rawai Phuket
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  Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Anthropology Centre
Ethnic Groups Research Database
Sorted by date | title


Subject Hilltribe, image making in Thai society, Thailand
Author Phiphat Krachaechan
Title Image making of “hilltribe” ethnic groups in Thailand from 1877 to 1977
Document Type Thesis Original Language of Text Thai
Ethnic Identity - Language and Linguistic Affiliations Hmong-Mien
Location of
SirindhornAnthropology CenterLibrary Total Pages 318 Year 2007
Source Department of History, Faculty of Graduate Studies, Chulalongkorn University

The thesis found that the image making of “hilltribe” can be divided into two periods. The first period is before the Second World War (1877-1927). During this period, the images of “hilltibe” as viewed by the Siamese elites were that they were backward, animistic and illogical. From 1877 to 1897, the Siamese elites produced work about ethnic group surveys. In 1912, the word “hilltribe” was used for the first time and the images were that they were low, dirty and backward. Animistic beliefs were regarded as blind, illogical and unscientific.
The second period is after the Second World War (from 1957). The images of “hilltribe” were changed due to threats from communism. Ethnic bias about the hilltribes was that they were a national security threat, a burden on economic progress and a cause of forest encroachment. The tribes who cultivated opium poppies, especially the Hmong, created a negative image from the government. At the same time, hilltribes were exploited by the tourism industry due to the image evoked of traditional livelihood. There was an attempt at ethnic cultural assimilation and the word “Thai hilltribe” was created.
Images of the hilltribes by different groups varied from 1877 to 1927. The Siamese elites were the only group with the image of “forest/hill people”. The images held by westerners were different. The images from the national security perspective were held by police and soldiers. Buddhist monks focused on the spread of Buddhism to prevent communism. However, beautiful images of the hilltribes were created for the benefits of the tourism industry.

Text Analyst Sithiporn Joradon Date of Report Jun 05, 2021
TAG Hilltribe, image making in Thai society, Thailand, Translator Chalermchai Chaichomphu


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