account of the Hunting of the Wild OX on Horse Back in the Provinces of UBOL Rajadhaniand Kalasindhu, and the Rites and Ceremonies which have to be Observed, An พิมพ์ อีเมล
เขียนโดย Francis H. Giles (Phya Indra Montri)   






                                      By Francis H. Giles
                                      (Phya Indra Montri)


                                      Introductory Note


            The author has already published in this Journal (Vol. XXIII,
pt. 2 and Vol. XXV, pt. 2) an account  of  elephant  hunting  on  the
Korat plateau as well as in the province of Langsuan, situated on the
sea board of Siam. These two papers not only record  the  methods
adopted in hunting, but also give  a  full  account  of   the ceremonial
rites which have to  be performed in order  to  bring  the  hunt  to  a
successful issue. The  present paper deals in  a  similar manner  with
the hunting of the wild  ox. The writer hopes to be  able  to  prepare
a paper dealing with the ceremonies surrounding the catching of  the
Plabük (ปลาบึก) a kind of catfish, of  the  genus  Pangasius  in   the
Mekhong river.

            This paper,on the hunting of wild ox,should be of interest to
the  anthropologist  as  well  as  the  hunter  of  big  game. The  cere-
monial which surrounds the acts of hunting and the rites  which have
to  be  performed  give  an  insight  to the beliefs of the people. One
peculiar feature is that the hunters are protected  by  the  chief  spirit
of a  shrine  which  is  the  dwelling  place  of  this  spirit.  The  spirit
enters  the  men, goes  with  them  on  the  hunt, and  they  lose their
identity in  that of  the  ponies  they  ride. On   the  completion  of  a
hunt the spirit returns to its shrine. Many  enjoinments  of  a  prohibi-
tory nature are laid on the hunters  as  well  as  their  women. When
any act of importance is  to be carried  out  it  is  necessary  for  the
chief huntsman to recite a prayer or stanza or to make some decora-
tion to the spirits of the forest. The  voice  speakiug to the  spirits of
the forest is that of the  chief  spirit of the  shrine, who  accompanies
the men. Attention is drawn  to  the  act  of  driving  away  the  spirit
which hovers about the Kang Lüei (คางเลื่อย) plant and prevents the
use  by  human beings of the  beneficial  properties  inherent  in  that
plant. When  this  spirit has been driven  to  a  distance, a  huntsman






40                                   FRANCIS H. GILES                                   [VOL.XXVII


digs up the roots and  by  virtue  of  the  spirit   which  is  in  him  is  able
to utilise the  beneficent  properties  to  give  his  men   and   their  ponies
courage   and   endurance. The  same  act   is   performed   when  taking
timber to erect a Kraal or  Kedah  for  the  trapping   of  elephants. I  do
not know the scientific  name  of  this  plant, but  it  would  seem  to  pos-
sess a certain  quality  which  acts  as  a  stimulant  or  produces  a  form
of  intoxication   which   causes   the  men  to  be  devoid  of  fear. There
seems to be  very  little  if  any  trace  of  the  influence  of   Buddhism  in
the prayers or stanzas which  are  used ; but  there   are  slight  traces  of
Brahmanic   beliefs. The   men  who  engage  in  this  pursuit   of   hunting
the  wild   ox  are  eastern  Laos, inhabiting  a  region  where   there   has
been Cambodian influence. The prayers or  stanzas  used   are  probably
of great  age, going  back  to  pre-Buddhist  and  Brahmanic   days. This
method of hunting the wild ox  is  not  used  in  any  other  part  of   Siam
nor have I  heard  of  it  in  any  part  of  Burma, the  Shan   States, Cam-
bodia  or   French   Laos. It  is  probable  that  the  hunting  of   the  wild
ox on horse back as described in this paper  will  be  abandoned  before
many years have passed, owing  to  the  building  of  roads  and  the  use
of   motor  vehicles, which  are  rapidly  penetrating  every  part  of  Asia.
In fact it will not  be  long  before  all  remembrance  of  ancient  customs
and habits will  have  disappeared  from  the  minds  of  the  people  inha-
biting   territories  which   a   few   years  back  were  considered almost
inaccessible, except   to   the   explorer   and   adventurer. It   is  for  this
reason that I have placed on  record  an  interesting  pursuit  of a  people
living in Eastern Siam.

          My thanks are due to Khun Satok Supakit (ขุนสาธคสุภกิจ), formerly
a   revenue   officer   in   Ubol  Rajadhani  and  now  stationed  in  Nakon
Rajasima (Korat), for  the  very  kindly  help  he  has  given  me  in  ascer-
taining the facts recorded in this paper.



                                                 Chapter I

                                   Hunting in Ubol Rajadhani

    (1) From   enquiries    made   by   me ,  it   would   appear    that   the
hunting of the wild ox  (Bos  Sondaicus, โคป่า)  on  horse-back  is  only
practiced in two localities, namely in  the  provinces  of  Ubol  Rajadhani
(อุบลราชธานี) and Kalasindhu (กาฬสินธุ์).There are some divergencies
in the rites observed in these two districts.






PT.I]                      THE HUNTING OF THE WILD OX                    41


            The   hunting   of   the  wild   ox   is   followed   in   the   district  of
Nong  Buahi (หนองบัวฮี) situated   in  Amphur  Phimul  Mangsahar,(พิมูล

มังษาหาร)  of   the  province  of  Ubol  Rajadhani, and  in  the  districts of
Lub  (หลุบ)  and   Kuchinarayana, (กุฉินารายน์) situated   in   the province
of    Kalasindhu. The    account    given    below    describes    the  practice
followed   by   the  hunters  living  in  the  district  of  Nong  Buahi  and was
given   to   me   by   two   experienced    hunters   named    Mo  Di   Phum-
chandra (หมอดี พุ่มจันทร์) and Mo Lun Phumchandra (หมอลุน พุ่มจันทร์).
Although   men   are  trained  for  the  purpose  of  the  hunt, the profession
of   hunting   wild   ox   is   hereditary   in  certain   families  and   these men
alone   attain   to   leadership   in    this  craft.  As   the   hunting   has  to be
carried   out   on  horse-back, and  the  weapon  used  for  slaughtering the
wild   ox   is   a  spear, some  training  in  riding  and  the  use  of  the spear
is  required   of   the   men   who   engage   in   the   hunt. The  ponies used
have    to    be   fleet, sure    of    foot,  strong , and   possess   qualities  of
endurance  because  the  ox  is  hunted  in   the   forest   where   trees  and
other  obstacles   have  to   be  avoided  while  riding  at  full  gallop  in pur-
suit   of   a    herd. The   men   other   than   the   professional   hunters   go
through  a  course  of  training  in  riding  and  the  use  of  the  spear  for  a
period    of    from    seven   to   fifteen   days. A    light    pole   resembling
a   spear   is   used   for  this  purpose. The   bridle   is   an   article  of   the
equipment   of   some  importance  and, having  to  be  strong, is  made  of
plaited cane. The   reins   are   short  and  end  in  a  loop  which  the  rider
holds. The  saddle   is   a   padded  cushion  made  of  kapok  (นุ่น)  some
twenty   four   inches   long  by  fifteen  inches  broad  and  is  fixed  to  the
pony's   body   with   girths   made  of   cane  web. The   hunting   party  is
composed of  the  leaders  or  professional  huntsmen  (หมอเฒ่า), trained
hunters  (หมอม้า) and   servants  (แหล่ง). These   latter   look   after   the
transport which  is  generally  bullock  carts, cut grass for  the  ponies, and
cook   the   food   for   the   hunting   party. The  hunt  takes  place  in  the
dry   season, commencing   about  the  fourth  month  (February―March).

    (2) The   first   rite   to   be   observed    is   of   some   importance   as
having   for   its   object   the  prevention  of  ill  befalling  the  hunters. The
men   who   are   about   to   engage   in  a  hunt  must  bring  their  ponies,
spears, and saddles to  a  spirit  shrine, and  make  themselves, and  these
things  over   to   the   spirit, that   they   may  be  protected  from  all  evil
such   as   fear, and   stumbling  on  the  part  of  the  ponies, breaking   of
the   spears   and   the   slipping   of   the  saddles. This  ceremony  is   per-







42                                  FRANCIS H. GILES                                   [VOL.XXVII


formed   by   the   chief  huntsman, who  makes  three  prostrations  or
obeisances before the spirit  shrine, before  uttering  a  prayer  for  pro-
tection. The  men   having  assembled  in  front  of  the shrine each one
makes an offering of one boiled fowl, one bottle  of  spirits, eight  cone-
shaped  cups  holding  flowers, and an oblation composed of five cone-
shaped cups holding flowers  and  five  wax candles grouped  together,
symbolic of the five constituents of  conditioned  life  or  sensorial  exis-
tence (เบ็ญจขันธ) from which one must escape.(1)These offerings are
made to the high spirit (พะกำม์) on the day on which  these  things i. e.
the ponies, spears and  saddles are  entrusted  to  this  spirit, that  they
may enjoy his protection. The men  who  attend  this  ceremony  come
within  the  jurisdiction  of  the  high  spirit  in  all  matters, and  entirely
lose their identity, being known during the period  of  the  hunt  by  the
names  of   their   ponies. Men   who  follow  the  pursuit  of  elephant
hunting on the Korat Plateau also lose  their  identity  and  are  known
by the names of their elephants.

    (3) Certain enjoinments or prohibitions are laid on these men,viz:—

           a)  that they shall not enter their own houses, or those of  other

 persons ;

           b)  that they shall not indulge in an amorous  intrigue  with  any

 woman or have any connection with their own wives ;

          c)  should any article or thing have been left behind  in  a  house,

 the hunters shall not go to fetch it themselves, but must send a  person

 having no connection with the hunting party ;

           d)  that the hunters and servants  shall  not  carry  on  their  per-

 sons or in any manner during  the  period  of   the   hunt   any   protec-

 ting    amulets, charms, or  talismans  of  any  description  whatsoever,

 but  shall  have  implicit  faith  and trust  in the protecting power of the

 high spirit to whom they have entrusted themselves ;

           e)  no woman, whether  young or old or a  wife  of  any  of  the

 men, shall be  allowed  under  any  circumstances  to  accompany  the

 hunting party.

    Should any member of the hunting party contravene any of


     (1) The five constituents or skandha are :—

          1.  matter ;

           2.  feelings;

           3.  ideas

           4.  volition and other faculties ;

          5.  pure sensation or general consciousness.

The elemental constituents form part of the Dharma in Buddhism.






PT.I]                THE HUNTING OF THE WILD OX                   43


these conditions, evil and ill such as death  or  sickness will befall  him.
Having committed a breach of any  of  these  prohibitions, confession
of fault or sin before the chief  huntsman  or  any  other   person   will
not absolve the offender from the consequences or penalties   of   his
fault or sin. It  is  almost  unknown  for  any  member  of   a   hunting
party to commit a breach of these enjoinments.

    Certain enjoinments  are  laid  on   the  women  belonging  to  the
men during the absence of their husbands on  a  hunt. These  are :—

    a)  they   shall   not  wear  a  white  skirt  or   petticoat  under  the
outer skirt (สิ้น) ;

    b)  they shall not sit on the steps or in  the  doorway  of  a   house;

     c)  they shall not throw baskets or others such  receptacles  from

 the house to the ground ;

     d)  when giving alms of food, such alms shall  not   be  given  with

 the bare hand but should be placed on some  article. All  such  alms

 must be made in a sitting posture as an act of reverence ;

     e)  they    shall   not   adorn   or  beautify  their  bodies  with  any

 powders, perfumes, or gay apparel ;

    f)  they shall not beat their children;

    g) they  shall  not  indulge  in  an   amorous   intrigue   or   commit
adultery with any man.

    Should any woman not comport herself according to these  enjoin-
ments, ill fortune such as death by goring or falling from  a  pony,  as
wel l as  through  sickness  will  be  the  lot  of  the  respective   man.

    When  the  men with  their  chief  huntsman  are  assembled   with
their ponies, spears and saddles before the spirit shrine and the chief
huntsman has made three ceremonial prostrations before  the  shrine,
he offers up this prayer asking the high spirit  to  give  his  protection
to those  about  to  engage in  the hunt. This prayer is as follows :—

    " Spirit   of   goodness ! O  Great   Chief  of  hunters,  omniscient
preceptor spirit! We are about  to  enter  the  forest  wilds  and  live
therein. We invoke  thy  power  that  the  hunters,  servants,  ponies,
cattle may be  free  from  injury  to  foot  and  hoof. We  crave  that
thee, O Spirit, will guard us safely  in  the  forest  that  we  may   not
follow wrong paths and lose our  way, that  the  forest  may  not  be
dark and when treading the boundless plains that we be not overcome
by fear. That should we step on plant or shrub they  should  bend  to
earth. That should we tread on wood or timber, it may  firm   remain.
That  should  the  forest  be  a  tangle, we  may  find  the  right   path







44                                  FRANCIS H. GILES                                   [VOL.XXVII


through. That   when   we  lead  our  ponies  we  may  lead  them  by  the
right   way   too. That   when  we  with  our  spears  thrust, we  may  stab
the  ox's  neck. That   when   we   evade  the ox's  rush, we  may  by  the
right way go. We ask for fortune and success."

    สาธุเนอ หมอเฒ่าเจ้าหลวง  พะกำม์ทิด   พะกำม์จารย์  นิมนต์คนตีจะ

เข้าคอนนอนเถื่อน     ขอให้ตุ้มมดตุ้มหมอตุ้มแหล่งตุ้มโหล่ตุ้มม้าตุ้มวัว

ตีนอย่าให้เจ็บ   เล็บอย่าให้ปวด   ให้พะกำม์พะกาพิทักษ์รักษา    เข้าป่า

อย่าให้หลงเข้าดงอย่าให้มืด เข้าโคกกว้างอย่าให้ฝืดดหัวใจ  เหยียบไม้

ให้นอนเหยียบขอนให้แทบ เตาะม้าให้แหม่นป่องหล่องม้าให้แหม่นทาง

แทงงัวให้แหม่นศอกออกงัวให้แหม่นทาง ขอให้โชคขอให้หมาน.”

    The    chief     huntsman    having    made    this    prayer,  performs   a
libatory   ceremony   by  pouring  a   little   spirit   on   the  points   of   the
spears, and the head or  pommels  of  the  saddles, after  which  he blows
three   times   on  a  buffalo  horn. When  this  ceremony  is  complete the
men remove  their s addles   and   spears   from   the   shrine, saddle  their
ponies   and   immediately   leave   the   village  for  the  forest. It  is requir-
ed   that   the   men   should   commence their  journey  this   day although
they may only travel a short distance.

    (4)  The   chief    huntsman    having   bathed   and     dressed    himself
in white, proceeds to search for  a  herb  or  root  known  as  Kang  Luei
(คางเลื่อย). He recites these verse for the purpose   of  driving  out  from
the plant a spirit, Phraya Thara (พระยาธร) :

    "Om,  auspicious   word,  breath  of  God!  Phraya  Thara  (พระยาธร)
spirit   of   the   air, endowed   with  knowledge, having  power  to  move
through   boundless   space, riding   his   spirit   horse at  speed   apace. I
with   my   hammer  strike   him  on  the  head. Lie  thee  not  at   foot  of
tree ; watch   thee   not   about   the   plants. By   virtue   of    the  sacred
power  Om, retreat, desert  thy  post  and  run  away, remain   thee  at  a
distance from the tree. "

    “ อมพระยาธรสังครีพ   พระยาธรขี่ม้าพรมาจอกพอก ๆ    ค่อนกูตอก
หัวพระยาธร มึงอย่ามานอนใต้เป้า มึงอย่ามาเฝ้า  กก   (ต้น)    ยา   อม
สะหะเพิกให้มึงเลิกหนีไกล มึงอย่ามาใกล้กกยา.”






PT.I]                    THE HUNTING OF THE WILD OX                   45


    Having   driven   away   the   guardian   spirit   of   the   plant, the chief
huntsman   now   offers   up  this  prayer, asking  that  the   powers  latent
slumbering   in   the   root   of   this   good  plant  may  come  to  life  and
rise :—

    "Om, word   of   good, cause   this  power  to  rise. I  have  found  the
precious    plant. When   required   to   rise, please   rise. When    woken
from   thy   slumber, please   wake. Shouldst   thou   be  at   top  of   tree,
please come  down. Shouldst  thou  be  at  root  below, please  come  up.
This   plant   loveth   me   as   the   elephant   loveth  his  tusks. This  plant
loveth me  as  fish   loveth  the  water. It  clings  to  me  more  firmly  than
to   its   best   friends. Om, gracious  word, by  virtue  of  thy  power,that
power, that   strength   inherent   in   the  stones  of  a  fortress  hath enter-
ed   me   within, acting   as  a  screen  behind, and  the  golden  flashes  of
celestial   axes   invisible  me  make, these  two  like  unto  walls  of  stone
hiding   me   from   view. By  virtue  of  power  inherent  in me, protected
by  the   father, by   virtue  of   power  in   me    fostered   by the  teacher.
The father  and  teacher  bathing  below, I   refrain   from  bathing   above.
The   father   and  teacher  bathing  above, I  refrain  from  bathing  below.
I commit no act derogatory to, and  I  place no  indignity  on, my  teacher.
Om, by thy power, I reverence thee, primordial preceptor."

    “ อมคะลุก ๆ      กูค้นกกยาให้ลุกก็ลุก    กูปลุกกกยาให้ตื่นก็ตื่นเจ้าอยู่

ยอดเชิญเจ้าลงมา       เจ้าอยู่     ฮาก   เชิญเจ้าขึ้นมา     กกยาฮักกูปาน
ช้างฮักงา   กกยาฮักกู   ปานปลาฮักน้ำ     ให้คงเลิศล้ำกว่าเผิ่นทั้งหลาย
อมติดจับสะหับคงๆ หินพุทธไธเข้าในตนกู ก้ามผ่ายหลังมีทองขวานฟ้า

มาบังตนกูสองสามข้าง   เหมือนแผ่นกระดานหิน    มาบังตนกู   คงสิทธิ

กูคุ้มนำพ่อ        คงสิทธิกูก่อนนำครู        พ่อครูอาบใต้กูบ่อได้อาบเหนือ
พ่อครูอาบเหนือกูบ่อได้อาบใต้      กูบ่อได้องอาจ     กูบ่อได้ประมาทครู
อมสิทธิสะการพระครูอาจารย์ เจ้าเอย.”

    (This phrase อมติดจะสะหับคงๆ หินพุทไธ is obscure,and I do not gua-
rantee the accuracy of my translation).

    When    this   prayer  has   been  recited, the  chief huntsman  proceeds
to    dig   up    the   root    of   this   plant  which   he  distributes  amongst
his men who eat a piece  and  tie  a  portion  round   the   necks   of   their
ponies. It is believed that   by   doing   this  the  men  and  ponies  become






46                             FRANCIS H. GILES                          [VOL.XXVII


courageous, and capable of much endurance.

      (5) When   the    hunting   party   has  entered  the  forest   and  ar-
rived at that part selected  for  the  hunt  where  it  is  known  that   the
wild   ox   are   to   be  found, the  chief  huntsman  calls  together   the
hunters and requires them to bring  their  pon  es, spears  and  saddles
to a spot under the shade of a tree or  near  an  ant-hill  where  a  cere-
mony   of   propitiation  has  to  be  performed. The  men   bring   their
spears and saddles and lay  them  together  at  a  given  spot, the  men
standing by, having tied their ponies to  form  a  circle  round  the spot.
The chief huntsman now proceeds to  propitiate the  Chief  Spirit, and
makes an oblation, to which each of the men presents one  boiled egg,
one bottle of spirits, and eight  cone-shaped  cakes, which  number in
the case of the  servants  is  reduced  to  four. This  prayer  asking for
protection   is   offered  up : "Spirit  of  goodness! We  thy  slaves, the
hunting party, composed of hunters, servants, ponies, oxen, dogs,guns
crave thee, O Great Chief  of  hunters, omniscient  preceptor spirit, to
grant thy protection to us who have now  arrived  in  the  forest  wilds.
Guard us, that we may not  be  afflicted  by  sickness  evil  or  danger."
This  prayer  then  follows  the  same  form  as  that  given  in  para. 3,
offered up when about to enter the forest.

      When   this  ceremony has  been  completed, the  chief  huntsman
instructs his men as to how they are to act, and  enjoins  on  them  the
prohibitions which have to be  observed. In  addition  to  those  prohi-
bitions regarding conduct  already  laid  down, the  men  are  warned :
(a) not  to  indulge  in  angry  strife, quarrelling  or  fighting; (b) not  to
utter any falsehood or scandal and not to impose one on the other  by
practicing any act  of  fraud or deceit ; (c) the  men  are  commanded
to  take  their  meals together, at the same time; (d) should any  grains
of rice adhere to the hands of the men engaged in  cooking  or steam-
ing rice they are not to remove the same by  licking  with   the tongue;
(e) they  are  not to  sit  astride, any  stump  or  trunk  of   a  tree, nor
jump therefrom to the ground; (f) not  to  fling  about   any  pieces  of
wood or earth ; (g) when collecting  firewood, they  must  take  those
pieces of wood, which they have  laid their hands on  and  are forbid-
den to change from one piece to  another,because they happen to see
something  more  suitable. Having  once  placed  their  hands   on any
piece of  wood,that piece must not be discarded for another but must
be  brought to the camp ; (h) the central or kitchen fire  may  be used
for all  cooking  operations, except  that   the boiling  and  toasting of
meat shall  not be performed under the  iron  tripod  or  grill  used for







PT.I]                   THE HUNTING OF THE WILD OX                 47


roasting   meat   under   any   circumstances. In   fact   the  roasting  or
toasting of  all  meat  on  a  spit  is  absolutely  forbidden  as  being  of
evil  portent. Should  any  of  the  hunters  cook, roast  or  toast  meat
on a spit, evil will befall them, for  they  will  lose  their  lives by  thrust
of spear, or gore of wild ox horns; (i) when  the  food  is  ready  for  a
meal the servants arrange the places for the  party  to sit  and  partake
thereof  in  a   straight   line. The  chief  huntsman  takes  the  foremost
place at  the  top  and  then  each  of  the  hunters  takes  his  place  in
order of precedence according to age, and then the servants take their
place likewise. The chief huntsman must commence  eating  before the
rest   of  the  party  can  partake  of  the  food; (j) during  the  hunt,the
hunters must sleep separately, must  have  a  separate  fire, and  use  a
separate   bamboo  for  holding  water. The  servants  are  allowed  to
sleep   together. One  servant  is  attached  to  each  hunter, and  there
are special men for  looking  after  the  transport. The  whole  party  is
under the  command, and  must  obey  the  orders, of  the  chief  hunts-

      Should any member  of  the hunting  party  contravene  or  commit
any  of   the  acts  which  are  prohibited  as  enumerated  in  this  para-
graph, the   chief  huntsman  shall  call  all  the  men  together  requiring
them to bring their ponies, spears  and  saddles, to  form  a  council  to
judge the offender for the sake of  upholding  the  power  and  prestige
of the Chief Spirit. Should  the  offender  be  found  guilty, he  shall  be
punished according to  the  gravity  of  the  offence  committed  against
the  Chief  Spirit. Should  the  offence  be  serious, such  as  quarrelling
or  fighting, then  the  punishment  is beating  with  a  stick, not  exceed-
ing three strokes, but should  the  offence  be  slight, then  the  offender
shall beg pardon of  the  spirit  and  present  an  offering  of  four  cone-
shaped cakes (กรวย) and ceremonial flowers,incense tapers,and  cand-
les. The chief huntsman is the judge and passes judgment.

      Should a wounded ox make its escape  into  the  forest, or  should
wild ox be seen but not be kept in  contact with, it  is  held  that   some
member of the hunting party or their  women  have  committed  an  act
contravening the prohibitions laid down.

      (6) When the hunting party  is  in  the  forest  they  should  not  use
their ordinary language in connection with certain  words  and  phrases.
The words which  come  under  prohibition  or  taboo  are  as  follows :
หอก, "spear," should be called แหลม, a  " pointed instrument;" ตกม้า,
"falling  from  a   pony," should  be  called   พัง, "to   break   down" or







48                               FRANCIS H. GILES                      [VOL.XXVII


"crumble;" หลงเถื่อน " to lose one's way in the forest", should be called
วนเถื่อน, " to circle about in the forest;" สัตว์ป่าซน, "to be butted by  a
beast of the forest ", should be called โยม ; กลับบ้าน " to return  home",
should be called ต่าวเชียงลม. These words have been in use from time
immemorial.  Excepting   these  words, ordinary   language   is   spoken.

     (7) When  the   time  has  arrived   for  entering  the  forest  to   hunt
the wild ox, the chief huntsman must recite this  stanza, for  the  purpose
of    bringing  the  spirits  of   the  forest, hills  and  dales  under  control.

     " Om, word   of   power, I   will   subdue, control   the  Great Spirit.
He   of   authority  and  power, I  will  subdue  him. He, with  eyes  red
like   unto  (forest)  fires  in   the   fifth   month, I will subdue him. He of
speech  daring, like  unto  the  rays  of  the  sun, I  will  subdue  him, as
well as he of the  vales  and  dales  and  the  pits  and  holes, I  will  sub-
due   him. He  of   the   mountains  and   upland   forests, I  will  subdue
him. He  of   the   grassy   plains   and   lakes, I   will   subdue  him. He
of the  "Yaw wood"  posts, I  will  subdue  him. He  of  the  hardwood
stumps, I   will   subdue   him. He   of   the   earth, I   will  subdue  him.
Having subdued  ye  all, let ye  fall  from  a  standing   posture, that  ye
shall  not  return  and  oppose me. I  am  known as the Spirit doctor, I
am known as he, who by shouting  at  elephants, causeth  them  to  fall.
Let ye not return  and  oppose  me. Om, word  of  power, the  teacher
commanding me to shout, I shout."

     “ อมผาบ ๆ กูจับผาบทั้งผีหลวงตัวมันแก่กล้ากูสิผาบ  ตาผีแดงปาน

ไฟเดือนห้ากูก็สิผาบ   ปากผีกล้าปานแสงตวันกูก็สิผาบ    กูสิผาบทั้งผี

ห้วย และผีฮู กูก็สิผาบ กูก็สิผาบทั้งผีภูแลผีป่งกูก็สิผาบ กูสิผาบทั้งผีถ่ง

และผีหนองกูก็ซิผาบ กูสิผาบทั้งหลักไม้ยอกูก็สิผาบ  กูสิผาบทั้งตอไม้

แก่น    กูสิผาบ   กูสิผาบ    ทั้งแผ่นดินเพียงกูก็สิผาบ   กูผาบแล้วให้มัน

ล้มถ่าวทั้งยืน       มึงอย่ามาคืนต่อกูนี้ได้   กูนีชื่อว่าหมอวิศาจ  กูชื่อว่า

จาดช้าง  ล้มถ่าวทั้งยืน     มึงอย่ามาคืนต่อกูนีได้   อมสิทธิสการครูบา


     Having   brought  the  spirits   of   the  forests  under  control  by  the
recitation   of   this   stanza, the   chief   huntsman   now  offers   up   this
prayer  being  an  invitation  or  invocation  to  the  beasts  of  the  forest
to come.







PT.I]                     THE HUNTING OF THE WILD OX                   49


     " Om, word  of  power. Come ! Come ! Oh  please  come ! Ye  moth-
ers   all   with   twisted, crooked   horns,  bending    down    and   slanting
to  the   back, I    invite   ye   all. The   bison,  solitary,   fierce, and   huge,
and   wild    ox, I   invite   ye   all   to  come. I  having  sent  my  invitation,
please  come  out, and  graze  on  the  high  lands  of  the  forest, brothers
all. I   having  s ent  my  invitation, please  come  out  and  lick  the  salted
earth  in  forest  wide, brothers  all. He  who  fails  to  come, break  off  a
bamboo, strike and force him to come. He who fails  to  come, break  off
a branch, strike him on back and cause to come. He  who  fails  to  come,
break   off   a   Rang  tree  branch, screen  the  face  and  cause  to  come.
Om, word   of    power, teacher   mine,  hath   commanded  me  to  invite,
hence   I   invite   ye  all. He  who  fails  to  come, let  him  without  a liver
be. He  who  fails   to  come, let   his  marrow  ooze  away. He  who fails
to come, let  his  eyes  sightless  be. He  who  fails  to  come, let  his head
drop   off    and    bound   away. Om,  that   sacred   word, which  giveth
power to teacher mine.

     “ อมเชิญๆ มหาเชิญกูจักเชิญอีแม่เขาบิดอีแม่เขาเบี้ยวเกี้ยวก้นคืนหลัง

กูก็สิเชิญ     กูสิเชิญทั้งควายโตดและบาเขิ่งโคกระทิงกูก็จักเชิญ     กูเชิญ

แล้วออกมากินโดกป่าหลวงพี่เนอ  กูเชิญแล้วออกมากินบะป่ากว้างพี่เนอ

โตใดบ่อมาหักไม่บงตีไหล่มาเนอ      โตใดบ่อมาหักไม้ไหล่ตีหลังมาเนอ

โตใดบ่อมาหักไม่ฮังบังหน้ามันมาเนอ อมสิทธิสการพระครูบาจารย์ ผู่ ข่า

ให้เชิญจึงเชิญ     โตใดบ่อมาตับอย่าให้มันมี    โตใดบ่อมาให้มีมันหล่อน

ให้ตามันสอน หัวมันสะเด็น อมสิทธิการพระครูบาจารย์ผู่ ข่าเอย.”

     (8) Having   taken   these   steps, preparatory    to    entering   the    for-
est   the   party   now   commences   the   serious   business   of   searching
for, and   hunting   the  wild  ox. The   first  thing  to  be  done  is  to  conse-
crate    the    spear   points,  giving   them   power   to  slay. This  stanza  is
used for this purpose :

     "Om, word   of   power, I   shout   and   roar   with   terrifying   voice. I
fill    with    terror    ye   mothers   all, with    twisted   crooked   horns, with
crooked    horns, bending  down   and  slanting  to  the  back. I  will   shout
and   terrorize   ye  all. I   will   also  terrorize  the  bison, fierce   and   huge
wild   ox. I   will   shout   and   terrorize   ye  all. He  who  has  been   filled

with  terror, let   him   fall   from   standing  posture. Let   him   not    return,
and  oppose  me.    Om, by  virtue  of  thy  power, my  teacher   hath com-







50                            FRANCIS H. GILES                               [VOL.XXVII


manded me to terrorize by my voice, hence I shout and roar."

                   “อมจาด ๆ กูสิจาดทั้งแม่เขาบิดแม่เขาเบี้ยว



               กูจาดแล้วมันล้มถ่าวทั้งยืน อย่ามาคืนต่อกูนี้ ได้


     This verse  having  been  recited  the  hunting  party  makes  every
preparation   for   the   start. The   ponies   are   saddled, the   spears
are examined and held  in  right  position, the  servants, one  attached
to each hunter, pack up the  food  and  water. The  party  now  takes
the trial  marching  in  order  of  precedence  according  to  age, each
hunter leading his  pony. When  a  herd  of  wild  ox  is  sighted  each
hunter eats a portion of the consecrated root given  him by  the  chief
huntsman. This   root  has  the  property  of  inducing  a  form of  into-
xication, which causes the men to  become  courageous, without  fear
of   danger   or  death. Each   man  now  mounts  his  pony, holds his
spear in his right hand with the point on the  animal's   head   and  the
butt on his own hip, takes the reins in his  left  hand, crying  out  beeb,

beeb,บิ๊บ,and charges on the herd at a gallop.The herd generally turns
and flees, followed by the hunters. Then the  wild  ox  show signs  of
exhaustion which generally occurs after running for 50sen (1 ¼ miles)
if the ponies are swift footed and press hard, or for a distance of 150
sen (3¾ miles), if the ponies are slow.The herd being exhausted,each
animal tries to make  its  escape, and  it  is  at  this  juncture  that  the
hunters select the animal they wish to take.

     The  ox  rushes  through  the  forest   dodging   trees   and   other
obstacles, trying   to   escape, followed   relentlessly   by  the  hunter.
Finding this impossible as the hunter is always on his  heels, he  turns
at bay, ready to fight for his life. The  hunter   jumps  from  his  pony,
leaving the animal to fend for itself, and places himself with his  spear
in position to receive the charge of the wild ox.Should the ox charge,
the man thrusts at the base of the neck near  the  shoulder, for  if  he
strikes at the right  spot  the  animal  falls  dead. Should  the  ox  not
charge but stand overcome by exhaustion, the hunter  approaches it
and thrusts his spear at the  animal  at  such  spots  as  are  exposed.
Should the hunter's aim be at fault  and  not  strike  a  vital  spot,  he







PT.I]                 THE HUNTING OF THE WILD OX                51


must   continue   striking  with  his  spear  until  the  animal  falls. This
may take some time as the animal being wounded  tries  to get  away
and may cover some distance before falling dead.

     More than one hunter should not  follow  up  the  same  ox  riding
one behind the other, as in the  event  of  the  forward  hunter's  pony
falling, a serious accident might ensue, and the  fallen  man  be  killed.

     (9)  The  hunter   having   slain   his   prey, returns  to  search   for
his pony which he brings with him to th e place  where  the  dead  ox
is lying. The servants having followed the  tracks  of  the  ponies  and
wild ox soon come up and a search is then made  for  the  other  hun-
ters. The servants are sent to bring  the  carts  or  other  transport  to
the spot to convey the flesh of  the carcase  to  the  camp. Here   the
carcase is cut up and some portions are prepared as dried or jerked
meat (biltong), another portion including the  spleen  and  liver  being
pickled in salt  and  placed  in  the sac or stomach. Each member  of
the party receives an  equal  share  after  the  hunter  who  killed  the
animal has taken  his  portion. This  does  not  include  the  neck, the
head, the skin, the muscles of both  hind-legs  and  a  portion  of  the

loin meat, which is known as the fruit of the spear  (หมากหอก)  and
belongs to the hunter who killed the animal.

     The  fruit  of  the spear is given to the hunters in the camp but the
dried  flesh  etc. is  always  divided  on  return  to  the  home  village.

     While in the forest  camp, after  the  carcases  of  the  dead  wild
ox  have  been  brought  in, a  portion  of  the  flesh  is  prepared  in
the Lao manner by  pickling  the  meat  and  seasoning  it  with   con-
diments, another  portion  being  boiled. The  meat  having  been  so
prepared the chief huntsman has to perform a  ceremony  of  thanks-
giving. The men bring  their  spears, saddles  and  the  heads  of  the
animals slain that day, to a given  place. Two  portions  of  the  meat
prepared as stated above are put into leaf-cups, and placed  on  the
pommel of each saddle as an offering to  the  spirit. The  chief  hunts-
man then makes this declaration :

     "We   have   killed   ox, and   we   invite    thee, Oh    Spirit!    to

come and partake to repletion of our offering of pickled  and  boiled
meat. We beg that thou wilt grant us thy favour  and  success  in  our
future hunting."

     “ แทงโคป่าได้ ......ตัว ขอเชิญพะกำม์กินลาบคาบหย่อและขอให้

โชค ให้มานต่อ ๆ ไป.






52                            FRANCIS H. GILES                               [VOL.XXVII


The chief huntsman then  blows  on  a  buffalo  horn  three  times  and
the ceremony  which  is  repeated  each  time  that  oxen  are  slain, is
complete. The number of oxen slain  must  be  declared  to  the  spirit.

(10) The   hunt    being   over, the  chief  huntsman  performs  a  cere-
mony bidding farewell to the spirits of the forest in which  the  hunting
has   taken  place. This  valediction  is  couched  in  these  words :—

" May'st   thou  increase  in  prosperity, and  continue  to  live  in  this
forest. Go  thou  not  with  me. May  thou  live  in  health, peace  and
prosperity. Having played and feasted  together, I  bid  thee  farewell."

     “ขอให้สูเจ้าอยู่ วุฒิจำเริญอยู่ ป่าคงพงไพร อย่าไปติดตามกับกูเนอ

ให้อยู่   ดีมีแฮงปักกุ่มสุมเย็น มาเล่นมากินด้วยกันแล้วจะได้ลาไปก่อน


     The hunting party now leaves  the  forest  taking  the  trail  for  the
home village. When passing beyond the  precincts  of  the  forest, the
chief huntsman  has  yet  to  perform  another  ceremony. This  is  for
the purpose of sending the various spirits who have  given  their  help
during  the  hunt  back  to  their  spirit  homes  and  vocations. When
sending the spirits home, the chief huntsman says to them :—

     "Om, word  of  power, I  send  and  send  ye   home. All   spirits,
spirits  of  the  vales, dales, pits, and  holes, spirits  of  the   hills  and
upland forests I send ye home. Ye spirits of   the  open  spaces  and
the guardian elves of the fields, I  send  ye  home. Ye  spirits  of  the
air and the fields, I send ye home. Ye spirits of the air  and trees, ye
spirits  causing  fever  and  ague, I  send  ye  home. Ye  spirits  who
wander in the night, I send ye home. Ye spirits  who  roam  at  even-
tide, I send ye home. All   ye  spirits  male  and  female, indulgers  in

amorous intrigue (เล่นชู้), whose  abode in the centre of the forest is,
I send ye home. Having released ye all and sent ye home, command
ye  to  fall  from  standing  posture, that  ye  may  not  to  me  return.
Peace be with ye all when I have granted your release and to distant
places ye have gone."

     อมส่งๆกูสิส่งทั้งผีห้วยและผีฮู กูสิส่งทั้งผีภูและผีป่ง กูสิส่งทั้งผี

ถ่งกว้างผีเสื้ออยู่ ถ่งนา   กูสิส่งทั้งผีอะหก กูสิส่งทั้งผีกกไม่  กูสิส่ง

ทั้งผีเฮ็ดถ่าน ไข่และเจ็บหนาว กูสิส่งทั้งผีเที่ยวคืนน่ำๆ กูสิส่งทั้งผี

เที่ยวคำเหนียๆ กูสิส่งทั้งผีตัวเมียและตัวผู้   กูสิส่งทั้งผีเล่นซู้ตัวอยู่







PT.I]                 THE HUNTING OF THE WILD OX                53


กลางดง กูส่งแล้วให้มันหล่มถ่าวทั้งยืน อย่ามาคืนต่อคนกูนี้ได้ อม


     (11) When   the   hunting   party   has   arrived   at   the   home vil-
lage, at whatever time whether day  or  night, the  men  must proceed
to the spirit shrine taking with  them  their  saddles  and spears  which
they place  before  the shrine. Each  man  then  makes an  offering  of
one piece of dried meat, one piece of salted tripe,one bottle of  spirits
and  one  basin  of  perfumed  water. The  purpose of  this  visi t is  to
release  and  return  the  spirit  of   the  shrine  who has  accompanied
them  during  the  hunt, and  to  bid  farewell  of  him.The  chief  hunts-
man  delivers  this  message "On  the  occasion of  this  hunt  we  have

slain   wild   ox,  we   now   bring   them   as  an  offering  to  thee, we

bid farewell to thee, thatched  roof  shrine.We  are  free  from  all  pro-
hibitions : if we  meet  young  damsels, we  will  flirt  with  them ; if  we
meet elderly persons, we  will  joke  with  them. Oh  ye  spirits of  this
shrine, reside and live therein as  of  yore, and  when  we next  time  a
hunting go, we will invite thee with us to go again."

     ไปคราวนี้ได้เนื้อ ...…  ตัวได้พากันมาเส้นไหว้พะกำม์ นี้แล้วจะได้

ล่ำลาคาจากพะกำม์พะกาไปแล้ว    เห็นผู้สาวก็จะได้เว้า  เห็นผู้เฒ่าก็


เสีย ไปคราวหน้าจึงจะนิมนต์อีก”.

     Having   bade   farewell  of   the  spirit,  the  men  make reverential
obeisence with hands joined, thumbs placed  between  the  brows and
fingers   raised  o'er   head. They   then  rise, a  buffalo  horn  is blown
thrice, and each man takes his spear and saddle  and  proceeds  to  his
home. From   this   moment  the  men  return  to  their  ordinary  habits
of life, and are free from all enjoinments  placed  on  them. The  spears
and saddles are put on one side and  kept  as  though  they  were  ordi-
nary chattels.

     (12) A  hunting   party   consists   of   not   less   than five mounted
men and rarely more than fifteen, the number of ox taken  varies  from
four   to  ten  animals. Sometimes  two  hunts  are  arranged  for  in  a
year. A hunt generally occupies  ten  to  twenty  days, but  if   the   for-

est to be hunted in is situated at a distance, then a  hunt   may   occupy
thirty to forty-five  days. The  forest  usually  hunted  in  is  known   as







54                               FRANCIS H. GILES                                 [VOL.XXVII


Phayaya (พระยายา) situated in amphur Dejudom (เดชอุดม) in the pro-
vince of Ubol Rajadhani, south of the Mun river.


                                         Chapter II

                                Hunting in Kalasindhu

       The rites and ceremonies  observed in  connection  with  the  hunting

of   wild  ox   in   the   province   of   Kalasindhu   are   somewhat   differ-
ent   to   those practised  in  the  province  of  Ubol  Rajadhani,  although
no   great   distance   separates   these  two  provinces. The  following  is
an account of what takes place in the province of Kalasindhu.

       (1) Men   who   engage   in   this  pursuit  are  found  in  the  villages
of Ban Chod(บ้านโจด)and Ban Na Charya (บ้านนาจารย์),Tambol Phai
(ตำบลไผ่) in the district  of  Lub  (หลุบ), the  headquarters  Amphur  of
Kalasindhu. The   forests  in   which  the  hunt  takes  place  are  situated
in  Tambols  Kok  Krüa (ตำบลโคกเครือ), Mahachaya (มหาไชย), Pon
(โพ้น) and  Mu  Mon (หมู่ม้น), in  the  Amphur  district  of  Sahasakhan

(สหัสขันธ์),and in Tambols Chaen Laen (ตำบลแจนแลน)and Phu Laen
Chang (ภู่แล่นช้าง), in the Amphur  district  of  Kuchinarayana  (อำเภอ

กุฉินารายน์). The hunt takes place during the dry  season  in  the  fourth

      The   ponies   and   their   riders   go   through  a  course  of   training
in   the   forest, that   they   may  learn  the  habit  of  avoiding   obstacles
and   trees, as   well   as  to  learn  to  jump  over  streams  and   shallow
places. The   bit   is   made  of  iron  in  three  pieces  and  is  known   as
yai  (ไหย่).  The   hunting   party   is   composed   of   a   chief huntsman,
hunters and servants, having the same duties as in Ubol.

      (2) The  enjoinments  laid  on  the  hunters  are  as  follows :  a) they
shall not  quarrel ; b) they  shall  not  sit  on  any  fallen  trunk   or  stump
of   a   tree ; c) they  shall  not  make  any  article  by  weaving  bamboo
strips    together; d) they    shall    not    throw   or    fling    any   articles
about; e) they  shall  not  call  out  when  anything  out  of  the   common
is seen ; f)  they  shall  not   thrust   their  spears  into  any  animal   other
than wild ox, bison, sambhurdeer, barkingdeer,Pamangdeer, swamp  or
eld deer, hog  deer and all  other  deer, as  well   as  wild  pig ; (g)  they
shall not ride on any animal  other than the ponies they have  with   them.







PT.I]                 THE HUNTING OF THE WILD OX                55


      These prohibitions must be faithfully observed  or  evil  will  befall
the man who commits a breach thereof.

      (3) A   start   for   the  hunt  must  be  made  in  the  afternoon  of
either  Tuesday  or  Friday. Other  days  are  unlucky. An  auspicious
day  having  been  chosen  for  the  hunt, the  chief huntsman,  hunters
and  servants  go  to  the  ancestral  spirit  shrine  for  the purpose  of
making offerings to obtain the favour and protection  of the  presiding
spirit. Each ma n takes  three  salvers  (ขันลมา), preferably made  of
metal, but should it be impossible  to  find  these, then  any dish, plate,
or cup made of  leaves  may  be  used.  A  boiled  egg, four pairs  of
cone shaped leaf cups filled with flowers,and one pair of wax candles
are  placed  on  each  of  the salvers. In addition to these articles, leaf
cups filled with flowers known as  hawnimon (ห่อนิมนต์) are  placed
on each of the salvers. The  hawnimon  are  vested  with  the  special
privilege   of   inviting   the  chief   spirit   to  assume  jurisdiction  and
authority  over  all  the  members  of  the  party. Each  man  brings  a
bottle of spirit with him for  presentation  to  the  spirit  of  the  shrine.
In fact this spirit as in Ubol pervades each member of  the party  and
goes with them on the hunt.

      This ceremony of eliminating self and allowing the  spirit  to  con-
trol   is   conducted   in  this  manner. Each  hunter  brings  his  spear
to   the   shrine   where  the  spears  are  arranged  with  their  points
uppermost  round  the  altar. The  saddles  are  placed at the foot of
the spear  butts, each  man's  saddle  against  his  spear. The  ponies
are   then   tethered  round  forming  an  outer  circle. Two  pairs  of
cone-shaped leaf cups filled with  flowers are  placed  by the  hunter
on   the   pommel  of  his  saddle. These  cups  are  known   as  suei
pishnu" (ซวยพิศหนู) and are taken by the men on the hunt. It  is be-
lieved that they are vested with the power of warding off all evil  and
danger. The men have absolute faith in  this  power  and   tell  about
many instances when they and their friends have  been  saved   from
death by goring or other cause.

      The  chief  huntsman   places  oblations   on   the  shrine and ad-
dresses the chief spirit in this language :

      "Spirit  of   Goodness, Pishnu, his   ancestors  and their  relations.
The ancient Great One and the chief Bejrpani, the ancient Great One
and the robber men. Mun spear and Sen drive, Uparaj, Koan Luang,
Muang Sen. Oh! all of ye, please come partake  of  the  good  things







56                             FRANCIS H. GILES                            [VOL.XXVII


presented here. Oh! all ye spirits  ancestors  of  indirect  or  diverging
line please come  partake  of  the  good things  offered  here. Do  not
impede or  place  obstructions  in  our  way, let  us  our  desires  fulfil.
When ye speak, say what ye mean by word of  speech  direct. Cause
the  ox  to  travel  slowly, the  ponies  swift  and  fleet to be, let   them
move  along  the  right  road  and  not  be  at  fault. When  stumps  of
trees, or other things are met with on the way  guide  the  ponies  that
they pass by in safety may. Oh ! all ye  spirits, please  hide  the  herds
of wild ox in the caverns, and seize  and  place  them  in  the  Chasms
and deep places that we may make them captive and our object  thus
gained be. The servants with us are like  unto  dogs  and  the  hunters
ignorant  of  lore  behaving  like  one  bereft  of  reason. The  hunting
ponies seem like wild dogs. Ancestral spirits, should ye  not  slay  the
wild ox we shall have naught to  eat. Spirits, do  not  wrong, hold   to
that which  is  right. Seeing  the  foot  prints  of  the  ox, bend   down,
and scan with care; the  ancient  spirit  hunter  we  make   prostration
here. Seeing the ancient spirit teacher we bow  in  profound  respect.
When the chief huntsman bathes downsteam, we do not bathe above.
We do not puff ourselves  with  pride  nor  treat  ye  with  derogation.
Grant us fortune good, that we may many oxen  take. The wild  ones
of the  forest, which  ye  spirits  have  not  fettered  by  your  will, the
wild ones which ye have fettered but without  a  mate, the  wild  ones
who are mated but have not come, please drive and hide them in  the
forest in which we are about to hunt.

      “ สาธุ ๆ   ทอนพิศหนู   พระปู่   พระตา   อาญาพ่อเฒ่า   หมอเฒ่า

หมอเพ็ชร์   หมอเฒ่า   หมอโจร   หมื่นหอก   แสนไล่    อุปฮาด  กวน

หลวง เมืองแสน   ขอให้พร้อมพบกบกันกิน   ปู่ก็ดีลุงก็ดี  พร้อมพบกบ

กันกิน อย่าขีนจั่งกอไหล่ อย่าไขว่จั่งกอบง   ให้เว้าความเดียว    เบี้ยว

ความหนึ่ง ให้งัวแล่นช้าม้าแล่นหัน เตาะแม่นป่อง   ล่องแม่นทาง  พ้อ

หลัดให้ยอ พอตอให้เว้น    ให้ซุกใส่ถ้ำ  ให้ปล้ำใส่เหว        แล่งกระจอ

หมอผีบ้า   ม้าหมาจอก   ปู่ตาบ่อ   ฆ่าให้กินก็บ่อได้กิน   อย่าถือสมถือ

สา เห็นฮอยพ่อก้มดูเห็นฮอยครูก้มขาบ ครูอาบใต้บ่อได้อาบเหนือ บ่อ

ได้ชงอาจบ่อประมาทครู ขอให้มีโซก  ให้หมานตัวเชือกบ่อพอ  ตัวปอ







PT.I]                 THE HUNTING OF THE WILD OX                57


บ่อคู่ ตัวคู่บ่อนำ ขอให้ป้องพก หมกเวียน” (1)

       (4) The chief huntsman having made his  offerings  at  the  shrine
and   addressed  the  presiding  spirit  in  the  terms  given  above, he
then takes the offerings  of  the  men  and  presents  each  one  separ-
ately, making the same address on  behalf  of  each  man. When  this
ceremony is completed, then the chief huntsman performs  an  act  of
divination, in order  to  ascertain  whether  good  fortune  will  attend
the  hunt. He  takes  one  of  the  boiled  eggs, breaks  the  shell, and
then examines the egg. Should   the  yolk  appear  through  the  white
of the egg, then fortune will  be  with the  hunt. One  of  these  boiled
eggs is cut into six sections, each of which is put on to a leaf dish and
placed on the shrine as an offering. Sometimes two eggs are  offered.
No speech or  address  is  made  to  the  presiding  spirit  when  this
ceremony of divination takes place.

        (5)  The  ceremony  at  the  shrine  being  over, the  party  must

 leave   for  the  hunt  at  once. When  camping, it  is  required of  the

 men   that they  place  their  spears  round  the  trunk  of  a  tree.The

 butt is thrust into the ground, and each man places his  saddle  at the

 butt and at night is bound to sleep on the ground in front of his


       Every third  night counting  from  the day of departure, the chief
huntsman has to perform, always  at  night, before  going  to  bed   a
ceremony of propitiation  to  the  spirit  of   the  spear  head. A  wax
candle is placed on the spear point, then lit  and the spirit  is  address-
ed in the same terms  as  given  in   para. 3, ending  with   the  words
" Muang Sen ". He then continues to ask that good  luck may  be the



     (1) Pishnu (พิศหนู) is the name of a spirit who at one time was a famous
hunter deeply versed in forest lore. The ancestral spirit  (พระปู่ พระตา)  are

the ancestors of Pishnu. Uncles (อาญาพ่อเฒ่า) are the avuncular relations
of the ancestors of Pishnu. The other spirits referred to  are  spirits  of   per-
sons who have held high rank and dignity in the State, and those who  have
attained the great  skill  in  the  hunting  of  wild  animals. That  part  of  this
address which likens the servants to dogs and the  hunters  acting  like  per-
sons bereft of their senses, owing to their lack of knowledge, and  belittling
the ponies, comparing them with wild dogs, is done for the purpose of hum-
bling the hunters and their horses making them less than the spirits, so  that
the spirits shall grant them  their  protection  and  give  them  good  fortune.
It should be remembered that the men  have  lost  their  identity  and  have
been filled with the spirit of the shrine.






58                          FRANCIS H. GILES                              [VOL.XXVII


lot of the hunters, and that the number  of  wild  oxen  slain  may  be

       The men, whether hunters or servants  are  allowed  to  mix  to-
gether and laugh  and  joke  without  restriction. The  men  use  their
ordinary language, no spirit  or  fake  words  are  employed. At  the
first camp in the  forest  in  which  it  is  intended  to  hunt, the  chief
huntsman with the hunters must make an oblation, omitting  the  boil-
ed egg, to the spirit of the spear head, in the same manner as at  the
spirit shrine as explained in para. 3. Wax candles  are  fixed  on  the
spear points and lit, the chief huntsman  addresses  the  spirit  in  the
same language as given above but  concluding  with  a  petition  that
the party may be in good health, free from sickness during  the  hunt.

      (6) The hunters mount their ponies, each one going his own  way

 in search of wild oxen. When  these  are  found  the  men  place  the

 butt of the spear under their armpits  with  spearhead  just  over  the

 ponies ear. Should  a  wild  ox  charge, the  hunter  jumps  from  his

 poney, screens himself behind a tree or anthill,and awaits the charge.

 Should the wild ox not see the man, he calls out to  attract  its  atten-

 tion and when the ox is close enough he thrusts with his spear  at   a

 vulnerable spot, and thus despatches him. The men have to  rely  on

 their skill and courage  in  this  very  dangerous  occupation. Should

 the herd turn and flee, the hunters then ride  after  it   at   full  speed,

 and when overtaking any particular  animal  kill  it  with  a  thrust  of

 the spear, without alighting from  the  saddle. Should  other  animals

 which they are not prohibited from hunting be found, they hunt  and

 kill them in the same manner.

      (7) When the day's hunt is over,the servants come to the   places

 where the  wild  ox  and  other  animals  have  been  slain, skin    the

 carcases, remove the horns and  cut  up  the  flesh, all  of  which   is

 removed  to   the  camp. Next  morning  each  hunter  prepares   as

 food certain quantity of the flesh of the animal  he  has  killed  as  an

 offering to the spirit of his spear and  the  spirit  of  the  forest.   This

 food is placed in seven cups or dishes made of leaves. These   offer-

 ings are taken by the chief hunter and six of them  are  placed   near

 the butt of the spear belonging to the man  who  has  prepared   the

 offering, and one cup or dish is offered to the spirit of the forest   at

 a place selected for the purpose. When making these offerings   the

 chief huntsman repeats the first portion of the address given in para.

 3, ending with the words " presented here ". He then concludes  by

 saying : " Oh ye spirits of this place,grant us thy favour that we may







PT.I]                THE HUNTING OF THE WILD OX              59


have good fortune in the hunt and enjoy  the  fruit  of  our  success. "

“ เจ้าที่นี่ก็ดีขอให้ลูกหลานโซกหมานเถิด”

This ceremony which must be performed  only  by  the  men  who
have killed an animal, is repeated after each day of successful hun-

     (8) On returning to the home village,it is usual for a hunter who
has enjoyed the fruit of his spear to make an offering of thanks  to
the presiding spirit of the shrine. This offering consists of one  boil-
ed fowl, some spirit, rice, flowers and wax candles, but any  other
article may be used for this purpose. These offerings are made  by
the hunter himself, not the chief huntsman. The hunter  repeats  the
stanza already mentioned ending with  the words " presented here ",
and asks that help and strength may be his.

     The spears used are two edgel blades about five centimetres in
breadth and fifty centimetres long having a butt made of cane
(หวายกระบอง) about two metres in length.

     This concludes the account of wild ox hunting on horse back in
two eastern provinces situated on the Korat Plateau.


                                                     Bangkok, 18th October, 1933.
































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