Second Expedition to the Mrabri (“KHON PA”) of North Thailand. พิมพ์ อีเมล
เขียนโดย J.J. Boeles   

BOELES,J.J. SECOND EXPEDITION TO THE MRABRI OF NORTH THAILAND ("KHON PA"). JSS. VOL.51 (pt. 2) 1963. p.133-160.

 

             SECOND EXPEDITION TO THE MRABRI (“KHON PA”)

                                       OF NORTH THAILAND

                                                           by

                                                   J.J. Boeles

On 21st January 1963 a second expedition of the Siam Society
Research Centre, to make further investigations into the " Khon Pa " Hill
Tribe, started from Nan.1 It consisted this time of four members of the
Siam Society again under the leadership of Mr. Kraisri Nimanahaeminda,
supported by his secretary and men. The expedition was most fortunate
in having as participant G. Flatz M.D. from Bonn. Dr. Flatz had been
working on blood research among the Hill Tribes of Northern Thailand
for the German National Research Council. His observations and discus-
sion of the results appear in a separate article in this Journal. Other par-
ticipants included the Changvat Commissioner of Changvat Nan, a captain
of the Border Patrol Police ( B.P.P.) and his men and three camera men.
It was quite an expedition requiring some fifty bearers for the journey up
the mountain.

An outline of the historical background of what is known about the
Khon Pa has been given in the account of the first expedition.2 By previous
arrangement by our leader and the B.P.P. we were able once more to meet
the Khon Pa, this time on Doi Khun Sataan, a hill of 1260 M, East of
the highway, Prae-Nan; we had climbed slowly in one day from Wang
Phueng. ( See map )3 The meeting place was a large Meo ( or Mong
Njua) village, consisting of 76 roofs (houses) on two levels, having in
total 711 inhabitants. There was a primary school run by the B.P.P.
Our camp was pitched on part of a recently constructed helicopter plat-
from above the village. (Photo 1.). The 9 Khon Pa men we met on arrival
were the same group of men that had been studied at the first encounter

__________________________________________________________________

1. Kraisri Nimmanahaeminda, Julian Hartland-Swann;
Expedition to the " Khon Pa " ( or Phi Tong Luang ? ).

The Journal of the Siam Society (JSS.) Vol. L. Part 2. Dec. 1962. p. 165-186

2. idem J.S.S. Vol. L. Part 2. p. 165/6

3. The map for this article is based on Map L 509. Ed. 1-AMS (First Printing,
5-58 ) prepared by the Army Map Service (PV), Corps of Engineers. U.S. Army,
Washington D.C. Sections NE 47-7 and NE 47-8.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

134                                                 J.J. Boeles

 

at Ban Khum on the West side of the highway Prae-Nan. ( See map )
They must have crossed that highway going in a Southern direction. The
distance between these two meeting places is not more than 35 km. as
the crow flies.

Our friends the Khon Pa were pleased to meet us again and Mr.
Kraisri as a fatherly friend was at once able to hold a lively conversation
in Thai Yuan and Khamu. They were greatly puzzled when presented
on the spot with their own image: photographs taken on the previous ex-
pedition. They finally recognized themselves but looked at the back of
the picture several times, still puzzled. The cloths that had been distributed
in August last year were gone; they were again wearing the loin cloth
made of discarded pieces of cloth; we would say rags. They were cold
and some shivered in the evening wind. Cotton blankets and tobacco
were distributed with the promise that the next day more presents would
be given when they would come back with their women and children.
This was agreed upon after which the Khon Pa disappeared in the dark-
ness of the jungle. In the meantime Mr. Kraisri had been able to establish
that they call themselves Mrabri in their own original language.

Bri-forest, the same word as in Khamu. Mra-Khon-human being.
The correct general Thai designation is Khon Pha-people from the forest.
The Meo or Mong Njua call them Mangku. The best known name among
the Thai for the Mrabri is "Phi Thong Luang", or "the spirits of the
yellow leaves ". This is a misnomer because the Mrabri are human beings.
The Mrabri resent the word "Phi" (Ghosts). The word Yumbri (Ber-
natzik) was not known to them, though they recognized the word "bri"
for forest.4 It is therefore correct to designate these elusive tribes people
as Mrabri and we shall use this name in our further description.

During the stormy night the temperature dropped to 5°C. but
there were no mosquitoes. The next morning our group of Mrabri
returned. Unfortunately without women and children. We knew from
the previous encounter that the Mrabri were hiding their women. In
squatting position our friends took a substantial meal of Thai food, white
rice and canned sardines-they even could eat with spoons-after which it
became possible to do real work. Mr. Kraisri settled down to linguistic

________________________________________________________________

4. J.S.S. Vol. L. Part 2. p. 178.

 

 

 

 

 

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SECOND EXPEDITION TO THE MRABRI (“KHON PA”) OF NORTH THAILAND 135

 

research whilst Dr. Flatz started his anthropometric and medical examina-
tions. The other members of the expedition assisted in both undertakings,
whilst taking numerous photo's. We were surrounded by almost the
entire Meo population of "mu 11, Tambol, Santah, Amphur Na Noi,
Changwat Nan "; the offical administrative designation of this Meo Village,
the second largest in the province of Nan.5 Mr. Kraisri held a serious
session with Ai Plaa ( Photo 2 ), the brightest Mrabri, that continued in-
tensively for many hours on end in order to establish and to check and
recheck the vocabulary of the Mrabri which he had commenced during
the first expedition.5 Mr. Kraisri with his unique knowledge of Thai Yuan,
was able to interrogate the Mrabri directly in this language-often using
Khamu as a medium-because that language was spoken by the Mrabri,
also among themselves. The intensive linguistic field examinations were
recorded on tape by Mr. Kenneth J. MacCormac of USIS who is a Re-
search Centre committee member. It is hoped that it may now become
possible to transcribe this taped vocabularly in phonetics and to establish
an inventory of the phonemes of this apparently non-tonal language.7 In
that way further analysis and a comparison with other languages in the
Mon-Khmer group becomes profitable.8 Ai Plaa gave full cooperation
and seemed completely aware of the importance of the linguistic discussion
and showed no mental tiredness not even after hours of absorbing work.
Stating and repeating and repeating again those words which were not
clear and explaining the meaning of these words also. This work requires
long and intense mental concentration in a specific direction ; an intellec-
tual performance incompatible with the concept of " primitivity ". On the
contrary after such a session we came away with a feeling of awe. Later
in the day after having distributed more cloth, tobacco, cotton blankets,

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         5. Mu ( baan ) — village ; Tambol ; Amphur =  district ;  Changvat -:  Province.
There are 5 Amphurs in Changvat Nan.

         6. idem J.S.S. Appendix I pp. 180-183.

         7.It is realised that a transciption of a non-tonal language into the script of a

tonal language like Thai, is not satisfactory. Therefore a phonetic transcription of

the tape recording of the Mrabi vocabulary made by a linguist = phonetician would be

 desirable.

         8. P.W. Schmidt ; Die Mon-Khmer-Völker, ein Bindeglied zwischen  Völkern

 Zentralasiens und Austronesiens. Braunschweig, 1906.

 

 

 

 

 

 

136                                                 J.J. Boeles

 

knives and other useful things, amongst others a flat steel bar "Apollo"
brand to forge knives, the collective Mrabri gave a dance of joy accom-
panied by their own handclapping and singing. (Photo 3).  Recordings
were made of this singing in Thai Yuan; one of their  songs had  been
translated into English after the previous expedition.9 The  pattern   of
their music, when they sing together, is pure counterpoint  and  quite
pleasing. The Mrabri remained the same inveterate beggars.The num-
ber of Mrabri meanwhile was increased by a small group of not  more
than 5 including a very ill woman, her son and her grandson,a  young
boy. (Photo 4). They all left again before dark. The  next  morning   a
group returned and later also a new group of not more than 5 men  with
very interesting faces whom we had not seen before, neither on the first
expedition. ( Photos 5, 6 ).

They all were given a meal. On the whole it could be  said  that
the Mrabri were quiet and shy and some of them scared and not talkative.
They showed no surprise to see Thai, or farangs and showed no eager
curiosity like the Meo men and their women. Still their presence made
us realise that we were meeting people from an entirely different world, so
much different that in comparison, the Meo of Doi Kun Sataan  looked
like a sophisticated "race". We shall see that the Mrabri depend on the
Meo for their barter trade. (Photo 7). The superiority of  the  Meo  to-
wards the Mrabri was manifest. Although it is not likely that the Mrabri
wash themselves very often and their bodies are therefore dirty with a
high smell they were in no way repulsive, probably because they were
well built and their features very interesting to observe. Some of them
were very handsome and some moreover showed a great sadness in their
faces. Flatz has given a thorough physical description of the Mrabri in
his article in this journal. The expedition had not been able to meet the
women of the Mrabri, with the exception of the old (?) and ill woman
mentioned above. During the last day of our stay it became possible with
Mrabri guides to visit and to discover their real though temporary camp
site deep in the jungle behind Doi Thong. Velder in his separate note
gives a clear description of that discovery. It seem that the most signi-
ficant item is the discovery that three persons had been sleeping each on

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9. idem J.S.S. Appendix II, pp. 185-6.

 

 

 

 

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SECOND EXPEDITION TO THE MRABRI (“KHON PA”) OF NORTH THAILAND 137

 

one sheet of freshly stripped bark.10 The Marbri may be designated
as sleepers on bark. ( Photos 8, 9, 11 ).

During these few days that we were privileged to meet the Mrabri
a slim body of facts regarding their culture was collected, resting on the
following evidence :

  1. photographs ; films ( black and white and colour )

  2. tape recordings of vocabulary and songs.

  3. verbal "examination" as basis for vocabulary.

  4. collected artifacts of the material culture of the Mrabri.

  5. collected facts concerning the medical and physical aspects
    of the Mrabri.

  6. description of the actual camp site of the Mrabri.

Our reunion with the nine Mrabri men from the previous expedi-
tion confirms the clear description given in JSS. Vol. L. pt. 2. The results
of this second expedition, where more Mrabri were met, have given the
opportunity to penetrate deeper into the various aspects of the Mrabri and
our knowledge, acquired through splendid teamwork, now rests on more
solid ground.

Some of these aspects are described here as follows :
Material Culture. Description of techniques.
Isolated groups of nomads in South East Asia like the Mrabri,
living in mountainous areas as food gatherers and hunters, who are unable
to weave their own clothes, are not likely to possess an extensive material
culture.

The examination of the artifacts obtained by the expeditions on
the spot in barter, demonstrate however that the Mrabri are accomplished
in various techniques of handicraft and tool making.

The following techniques are in use :

  1. Plaiting, weaving split rattan in patterns See Plate 1

  2. Carving bamboo surfaces in patterns See Plate 2

  3. Knotting threads of fibre in nets See Plate 3. II

  4. Weaving ( ? ) threads of fibre in straps See Plate 3. IV

  5. Forging steel implements See Plate 4.

_____________________________________________________________________

10. The tree from which the bark was stripped is Antiaris Toxicalia. The size
of the largest sheet of bark is 173 X 77 cm. The bark is slept on as evidenced by the
position on the cleared soil and by the body smell still clinging to it.

 

 

 

 

 

138                                                   J.J. Boeles

 

The Mrabri moreover make their own tobacco pipes carved from
the rootstock (rhizome) of a bamboo tree; mouth pieces are often separate.
Since we saw one Mrabri man play a flute as drawn in Plate 3, VI, it is
quite likely that they are also able to make this simple musical instrument.
(Photo 10).

Comparison with similar techniques applied by other tribes may
lead to observations as to whether some of these techniques are original
Mrabri inventions or whether these were obtained from other tribes. Such
a comparison of the material cultures of the hilltribes in North Thailand
as well as in neighbouring countries would reveal at the same time more
about the intricate phenomena of the migration of techniques and patterns
of ornamentation. ( Photo 15 )

Plaiting and Weaving. Plate 1. The technique of weaving
split rattan in patterns is applied by the Mrabri in the first place to produce
large lidded standing baskets and broad sleeping mats which they do not
use themselves but which are made specifically for the "export" trade;
for barter trade with the Meo, or with the Thai as was observed during
the first expedition. These products are sturdy and made with skill; it is
quite likely that the mats are woven without the assistance of any kind of
loom. The fact that these baskets and mats are not used by the Mrabri
themselves indicate that they do not belong to the original material culture
of the Mrabri. It may also turn out therefore, that the technique of rattan
weaving in geometric patterns was introduced from outside and therefore
at a later stage. In that case the plaited rattan knife sheaths could also
be of later development. We possess one plaited rattan knife sheath in
two colours. One colour is formed by the natural colour of the split rattan
while a dark red colour is provided by plaited soft reed strips that are not
rattan. See Plate 1, II. The black pattern is formed by the dark red
plaited strips.

Carving. Bamboo containers. Plate 2. Plate 3.I.

On the short bamboo containers that are used to hold rolls of bees-
wax or fire-making equipment we see bands of carvings on the smooth
surface prepared for that purpose. See Plate 2,I-IV and Plate 3, I. These
carvings, showing an intricate pattern, could have been made with the
point of a sharp knife, by artists with a sure hand and if it were not done

 

 

 

 

 

 

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SECOND EXPEDITION TO THE MRABRI (“KHON PA”) OF NORTH THAILAND 139

 

on wood one would call it rather engraving. There are two kinds of
carving. One shows a geometric pattern as in Plate 2. IV whilst the
carvings of Plate 2, I-III seem to represent much more than a row of.
triangular ornaments at the top and of which we shall attempt an inter-
pretation under the heading "spiritual culture". The geometric pattern
of Pl. 2. IV, showing the sign of the cross in the centre of the repeated
ornament, is new to us.

 

Knotting. Sling-bags. Plate 3. II-IV.

Many Mrabri men carry on their back a network slingbag with a
shoulder strap. These network bags could have been the proto-type of
today's knotted plastic shopping net for the supermarket and are very
handy indeed. The Mrabri use it to carry their personal belongings such
as the short bamboo containers. The slingbag is also used to carry forest
products like honey combs; this is apparent from the crusty wax deposits
on the threads around the bottom in several of those network bags col-
lected. The nets are also said to be used for catching fish in the mountain
streams. We have not seen that these slingbags are used as a commodity
in the barter trade; the Meo and the Thai in the North weave their own
type of textile shoulder bag called Tung Yaam (ถุงย่าม). On the other
hand, Bernatzik maintains that the few network slingbags that he had seen
in use with the Yumbri, had been obtained by them in regular barter from the
Lao people.11 In his later monograph on the Meo and the Akha (E-Kaw)
Bernatzik mentions that the Akha use network slingbags which are carried
on their back and shows in detail how these bags are produced.12 The Akha
work with a netting tool made of wood with a horn point called putsa
(T. 407). The connection between the Akha and the Mrabri on this use

of a similar or identical network slingbag needs further investigation. It is
possible that at one time the Mrabri obtained the network slingbags and
the technique of making these from the Akha or even from still another
tribe and that later on the Mrabri, having acquired the technique of ma-
nufacture, produced their network slingbags independent from the Akha.

_________________________________________________________________ 

11. Hugo Adolf Bernatzik; Die Geister der gelben Blätter; Munchen, 1938. p. 152

12. Idem; Akha und Meau, Probleme der angewandten Völkerkunde in Hin-
terindien. Innsbruck. 1947. 2 Vols. I Abb. 40 and II T. 402-405, 407, p. 416.

 

 

 

 

 

 

140                                                 J.J. Boeles

 

It is doubtful that the Akha would have obtained this technique from the
Mrabri considering that in general a technically more developed society
- such as the Akha - is not likely to acquire techniques from a less developed
society. However since we have as yet not been permitted to watch the
Mrabri produce anything in their own surroundings, in their own camp,
conclusions as to techniques used in making their handicrafts, or the origin
thereof, cannot be established. We have collected however a bunch or
bundle of long dried hemp fibres in the Mrabri camp which could have
been used to make threads for those network slingbags consisting of similar
fibres. It is however not excluded that these fibres are also used for other
purposes like making carrying-strings. We have not encountered netting
tools. Apparently since Bernatzik's days more slingbags have come into
use which explains why we were able to collect 4 specimens. These circum-
stances justify the conclusion that the Mrabri now produce their own sling-
bags. For their fabrication great skill is required. Each bag reveals that
4 different techniques have been applied by the maker :

  1. A crochet technique is used for making the band that forms the
    mouth of the slingbag. This band which holds the net together is made
    in one piece in the round, somewhat like a ladies' seamless stocking. (See
    plate 3. IV)

  2. Emerging from this band downwards, is the body of the bag;
    a network produced by an even knotting technique. See plate 3. II. III.
    In the good-sized slingbags the knots are double ; the meshes are uniform.

  3. The two ends of this circular net (again no seams) are joined at
    the bottom of the bag by braided strings.

  4. The shoulderstrap consists of one long narrow, tightly woven
    band, the ends of which are rather crudely sewn on the outside of the band

    that forms the mouth of the bag as mentioned under 1. It is not clear
    which technique is used in making this shoulderstrap, it was however not
    produced on a movable handloom. The technique rather resembles that
    of the weaving of basketwork. One band measures 58 x 4.5 cm.

A definite description of the construction of these intricate slingbags
could only be established when we have seen the Mrabri actually producing

 

 

 

 

SECOND EXPEDITION TO THE MRABRI (“KHON PA”) OF NORTH THAILAND 141

 

hem. Until that time it will also remain uncertain whether any imple-
ments have been used in this handicraft. There will remain also uncer-
tainty as to the way the hemp threads are produced that are used in the
bags. It could very well be the technique as demonstrated by Bernatzik
which is still in use in the more remote parts of the North. The fibre is
held tight and is twisted by hand rubbing on the thigh and in this way
made into a thread.13

Without having seen the actual plant, from which the fibres-through
a process of retting - were made, it will not be possible to establish the
exact botanical names, as there are various alternatives possible, it seems
most likely however that this plant is a hemp. Bernatzik arrived at the
same conclusion.14

In further research it is of particular interest if it could be established
that the technique of making a slingbags belong to the original material
culture of the Mrabri, who are still not yet in the stage that they have
learned to weave their own cloths on a movable handloom. (Perhaps
they may skip this phase in their culture entirely. ) Because in that case a
theory might be developed to the effect that in this part of the world, the
technique of knotting and braiding (including plaiting) preceded the tech-
nique of the movable handloom. The invention of the movable handloom
is known as an industrial revolution.

Forging steel. Knives, Spears. Plate 4, I - III.

The technique of forging steel was most likely learnt from neigh-
bouring tribes like the Meo, Tin and Kamu. The assumption that the
Mrabri now know how to forge steel is based on three considerations :

  1. The Mrabri say they make steel knives and spear blades them-
    selves.

  2. The Mrabri have asked us specifically and several times to bring
    them a steel bar (and hammer and anvil) to forge steel implements.
    When we brought for them one imported short flat bar of hardened steel
    ("Apollo" brand), they considered this a treasure. Also ideal are motor-
    car springs which are made of hardened steel.

 ___________________________________________________________________

13. Bernatzik; Die Geister der gelben Blatter, Abb. 58. p. 152

14. Bernatzik; Akha und Meau, Band II. p. 416. However only as regards the
material for sling-bags used by the Akha.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

142                                                    J.J. Boeles

 

3. In the Mrabri camp we found a heap of charcoal. No tools and
no heating contraptions.

On day we may be permitted also to watch the Mrabri in the
process of forging steel, until that time it is not established with certainty
that the Mrabri have indeed acquired this technique.

The range of steel implements of the Mrabri is restricted to knives;
spear- blades (and spear endtips) and to an occasional uprooting tool.
Plate 4, I, II, III. The short knife of Plate 4,1, is not at all representative
of the variety of shapes of knives in use by the Mrabri; it is just a
specimen. The usual knife is larger and double-edged. All men carry a
knife in their belt, very often without a rattan sheath and with the sharp
cutting edge almost in direct contact with the bare stomach. The ill
woman also carried a knife. There are no engravings of any kind on the
steel implements.

Steel uprooting tools as in Plate 4, II, are not common. It is not
at all certain that this is a tool developed by the Mrabri ; it rather resem-
bles a spade like digging tool called siem (เสียม) which can be bought in
almost any market in the North. The Mrabri however my have flattened
the surface of this tool by forging in order to bring it into the present shape.
It is not a weapon. The obvious designation of this tool as a " digging-
stick ", is in this case to be avoided, because digging sticks are used to dig
holes in the soil in which to put seeds for a crop. As such a digging stick
becomes an agricultural tool. The Mrabri use this implement in the jungle
to disturb the top soil by digging with the sole purpose of gathering roots
and other edible material like yams, but not to dig holes to plant seeds. To
mark the difference in purpose we propose to use the word "uprooting
tool" for the steel implement of Plate 4,II. though we admit it is an adap-
tion of an existing digging tool. The original uprooting tool could have been
just a stick with a sharpened end, most likely still in use by the Mrabri.
Could it also be the forerunner of the agricultural digging stick belonging
to the people of the "Grabstock Kultur".

The number of spears in use by the Mrabri is limited; during the
second expedition we saw only one spear, which we acquired in barter.
(See drawing 4, III.) The total length is 265 cm (8' 10"); it balances
at 99 cm. from the steel top. The long black polished hardwood shaft has

 

 

 

 

SECOND EXPEDITION TO THE MRABRI (“KHON PA”) OF NORTH THAILAND 143

 

been identified as being made from of the kernel of the Maklüe tree ( Dios-
pyros
sp.)15 Some authors say that sometimes the tip of the spearblade

is poisoned with the poison from the tree (Antiaris Toxicaria) that also
supplies the poison for the arrows of the Meo. The steel blade is fixed to
the spear shaft by a plaited strip of split rattan. When the Mrabri de-
monstrated this spear for us we could not detect any particular skill in
throwing (underhand) the spear. We have heard however that the Khon
Pa (Mrabri ?) in Laos are considered to have deadly skill in throwing the
spear. The Centre has now received on loan a small collection of spears
from the Mrabri, the Kamu and the T'in belonging to Reverend Garland
Bare from Amphur Pua, Changvat Nan, who is writing an account for
the JSS. on the use and the meaning of those spears. Therefore more
information on this subject may become available later. We understand
that these spears are used in hunting small animals. We have not seen
any traps.

Articles made of bamboo have been mentioned :

a. Tobacco pipes, often with leaf ornaments PI. 3. V

b. Bamboo containers with tight lid. PI. 3. I

c. A bamboo flute. Distances between holes 2-2.5 cm. PI. 3. VI

The above mentioned objects of the material culture of the Mrabri
are specified in Appendix A.

The objects used by the Mrabri in their jungle camp beyond Doi
Thong have been described in Dr. Velder's comprehensive eyewitness
account elsewhere in this journal. Appendix A also mentions a number
of these objects which were taken to the Research Centre for further iden-
tification.

One of the amazing aspects of the life of the Mrabri that came to
light is the fact that several of them sleep on one single sheet of bark, as a
mattress and placed between two campfires. This discovery constitutes
a major characteristic of the Mrabri; to us it indicates an early stage of
man and we wonder which other tribes are known to have the same
sleeping habit. ( Photo 8 ) It should be mentioned here that as in the

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15. The lower end of the shaft is pointed as if to stick in the soil. Garland Bare
will have to say more about this pecularity which is also to be observed on the steel
bladed uprooting tool,

 

 

 

 

 

144                                                 J.J. Boeles

 

other resting places, the area of resting place 1 ( Velder's sketch 2 ) was
entirely cleared of all vegetation before the fire places, woven palmleaf
mats and the 3 sheets of bark used as sleeping mats were placed directly
on the soil. As Velder's sketch 2 shows, only one sleeping place in the
camp showed these mats of bark. The bark is not rough to the Mrabri
skin, especially not when freshly cut from the tree called Yaang Nong
(Antiaris Toxicaria
). It seem a coincidence that this is the same tree

that supplies the poison for the arrow tips of the Meo. In the North, bark
mats of this tree are used by Khamu elephant drivers to put on the back
of their work elephants so that the " howdah " placed on top will not chafe
the skin of the elephant. In the jungle camp at night these Khamu elephant
drivers often use the bark mats to sleep on, just as the Mrabri do. The
Khamu and the Mrabri have various things in common; both have a
non-tonal language with many words identical in both languages as will
appear from the comparative wordlists of Mr. Kraisri Nimanahaeminda
in this journal. Both languages form part of the Austro-Asiatic group
of languages.8

In the Mrabri camp we saw no shelter constructions of any kind.
Apparently in the cold season-a rainless period-there is no need to build
shelters with a roof. It is quite likely that lean-tos are constructed in the
rainy season, but we have not seen these. Some of the vertically installed
wind-screens had indeed withered (withered leaves: in Thai, tong lüang
ตองเหลือง) (Photo 9.) When the hunters from other places come across

an abandoned camp like we came, they say " Phi tong lüang " (ผีตองเหลือง)

 

Leaning against the trees in this-temporarily-abandoned camp we
saw clusters of bamboo water containers, many of them still holding fresh
water; often the top was closed with a wad of green leaves to prevent
dirt from falling into the drinking water. (Photo 10) The discarded
"cooking utensils", sections of bamboo, half scarred by the camp fire,
proved that the Mrabri do not use any pottery for cooking (Photo 13)
No ceramics nor sherds of any kind were found in the camp which indi-
cates that the Mrabri have not known the stone age. No evidence of
stone implements or even stone ornaments were found. It is to be noted
further that the Mrabri, neither men, women or children, as we have seen

 

 

 

 

 

 

SECOND EXPEDITION TO THE MRABRI (“KHON PA”) OF NORTH THAILAND 145

 

them, wear no ornaments. The large holes in the earlobes are indications
that some ornaments-or earplugs-are worn but we have not seen them.
These earlobe holes were all empty. We noticed some Mrabri men with-
out holes in their earlobes.

Food.

We have mentioned the incredible diet of the Mrabri of which
Flatz will have more to say in this journal. Rice does not belong to the
staple food of the Mrabri though they eat rice when offered, both white
and glutinous. Our meagre collection of plants used for food is specified
in Appendix A. The staple diet seems to consist of roots, yams, nuts
(when available), bulbs, wild fruits and vegetables together with the meat
of whatever small animals they can catch without traps. Fish from the
streams is also a possible source of food but not observed by us. Domes-
ticated pigs are obtained from the Meo in barter and eaten after having
been offered to their spirits (Phi); we have not witnessed an offering.
Apart from beeswax, the wild honey is bartered-stored in sections of
bamboo-but there are reports that honey is also consumed by the Mrabri
and their children. The great allround nutritive value of honey is well-
known.16 We have not been able to ascertain in what way the Mrabri
add salt to their diet. Mr. Krasri is of the opinion that the Mrabri may
obtain salt from the Meo who are able to find salt wells where salt is
available as brine. In mountainous forests it seems to be no special problem
for the Mrabri to obtain fresh drinking water from small streams.17

 ____________________________________________________________

          16.  See Reader's Digest, May 1963; Donald Culross Peattie: The Golden Wonder

 of Honey, pp. 160-162. Condensed from Nature Magazine.

           17.  On our way to the camp of the Mrabi on Doi Thong, far beyond the aban-

 doned poppy fields, we saw how two of our guides squatted at a small stream of water

 coming down the rocks, The Mrabi folded each a large leaf into a cup from which they

 drunk the water scooped from the small stream. Their squatting position while

 drinking water is the same as depicted by Bernatzik ( Abb. 46 ). It refutes however

 Bernatzik's statement ( op. cit. p. 144-5 ) that the Yumbri only drink water available

 in bamboo trees and "In obedience of a religious prohibition they do not drink either

 running water or spring water .. . " ( quoted from the English version pp. 133. ) Ber-

 natzik's subsequent observation with regard to the absence of struma ( goitre ) or from

 cretinism among the Yumbri, so frequent among other tribes living under similar

 environmental conditions, is therefore not at all satisfactory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

146                                                 J.J. Boeles

 

On the way to the Mrabri camp we bought a number of fresh
green cabbages grown by the Meo instead of poppies. We gave these to
our Mrabri guides who devoured the cabbages raw and with gusto as one
eats apples. A very healthy habit.

As to human weaknesses we know that they will drink locally dis-
tilled alcoholic spirits (lao) when given to them by the Meo. They refuse
to smoke opium and said that this would kill them. It might however be
used in isolated cases of illness, usually toothache. The Mrabri are great
smokers of tobacco in pipes; they also smoke cigarettes made from tobacco
rolled in leaves. This tobacco is possibly obtained in barter or just taken
from deserted plots. We distributed considerable quantities of locally
grown tobacco.

 

Spiritual Culture, Beliefs.

Our attempts to find an approach to the mind of the Mrabri have
not been entirely in vain. We have heard the Mrabri speak in at least
two languages, tonal and non-tonal, Thai Yuan and Mrabri, sometimes also
in Khamu ; a language related to Mrabri. The Mrabri sing moving songs
often impromptu : the "troubadours" of Condominas. One Mrabri
played a simple pleasing melody on a bamboo flute. We have seen the
Mrabri express their feelings in a dance of gratitude. Many of them are
inveterate beggars, others are very shy. The Mrabri have great fear of
the outside world. The Mrabri have no concept of names for colour
other than black and white. They use numerals ( possibly up to 20 ) but
have no concept of expressing age in a number of years. Time is expressed
by pointing to the position of the sun. Food is shared equally. We know
almost nothing of their beliefs other than that the Mrabri believe in "Phi",
spirits; good ones and bad ones. They wear no amulets but have asked
us for them. The only magical protection we saw was the tattooing
on the bodies of several men. This tattoo is often of the yantra type ;
one man was carrying a wrist watch tattoo.18 It seems that the spears
of the Mrabri have a great magical quality, the nature of which is presently
under investigation by Garland Bare.

_________________________________________________________________ 

18. One of the Mrabri mentioned the name of the place Sayaburi ( Laos ) in
connection with the tattoo that some of them could have obtained from there. This is
quite possible because we have recently heard that a band of "Kha Thong Luang" had
been observed three years ago around Sayaburi which place is situated South of Luang
Prabang, inside the big bend of the Mekong, a distance from Baan Khun Sataan of not
more than 200 Km. as the crow flies. To verify this report another expedition to the
Kha Thong Luang, on the other side of the border with Laos, would have to be made.
Sayaburi also appears in the account of the first expedition to the Mrabi. ( See J.J.S.
Vol. L. part 2, p. 178 )

 

 

 

 

 

SECOND EXPEDITION TO THE MRABRI (“KHON PA”) OF NORTH THAILAND 147

 

We were fortunate enough to establish in their own camp at least
one taboo with certainty : The Mrabri refused to accept the cheap bazaar
mirrors we presented them with and refused to look in the mirror. It
was a polite but unanimous refusal expressed by stretching out the right
arm with the palm of the hand raised. We do not as yet know whether
they permit themselves to look at their own image reflected in water. It
is most likely that their knowledge of the forest, the trees, the plants, and
the animals is profound ; this knowledge means survival. The Mrabri
move through the forest and green jungles in silence; it is entirely their
world. We believe we have found an artist's expression of this world
which could be interpreted in the following description as :

 

The closed world of the Mrabri.

The carvings (engravings rather) on the band around the bamboo
container of Plate 2, II seem to reveal the closed world of the Mrabri as
they see it. One the upper level of that band we recognize a long range
of mountain tops all around the spectator - the Mrabri - who is in the
centre of this circular universe. On a lower level closer to us a turbulent
mountain stream is coming down. At one point rocks strewn in this
stream show the way across the waters to the world of the mountains.
The mountains in Plate 2, II are indicated with 1, 2, 3. and the turbulent
stream in the same Plate with 4, 5, 6.

Their world of the evergreen thick jungle is represented by the three
trees - possibly palm trees-of Plate 2, II, 8. Finally, with some effort, we
see the rising sun of the Mrabri above the trees, fiercely burning as indi-
cated by the bundles of rays shooting all around. There is no indication
of the sky above and though this may be due to the horror vacui of the
ancient, it may also signify that the Mrabri see their universe as a closed
world which consists of mountain ranges all around, the life-giving
mountain stream, the silent evergreen jungle, the forest of which the palm
trees are its symbol and the blazing sun, source of light, heat and energy.
There are no living creatures in the endlessness of that world ; it is a true
picture ; no human beings, no animals, no fish are to be seen in the reality
of the silent jungle. There is no phenomenal world beyond or above.
The end of the universe is the horizon represented by an endless repeti-
tion of triangular mountain tops placed around us. The compactness of

 

 

 

 

148                                                   J.J. Boeles

 

the picture indicates that endless dense mountainous jungle through which
we had been climbing in our journey on Doi Thong in search of the home
of the wandering Mrabri. The picture is therefore at once familiar. It
is at the same time a picture of their universe in synopsis and of which
the Mrabri is the centre. If we consider the limitation of the vehicle of
expression, a section of bamboo having a circumference of 22 cm and a
knife or stylus (?) for engraving, then we have again a feeling of awe
when confronted with this evidence of creative expression, again incom-
patible with " primitivity ".

 

Social structure.

During our investigations we were never certain whether the elusive
Mrabri would turn up the next day, as promised and therefore our re-
search was deliberately concentrated on three major aspects :

  1. Physical anthropology.

  2. Linguistics ( establishment of vocabulary )

  3. Material culture.

This aim has resulted in the articles in the present Journal. As
a result we have not been able to establish as yet a clear social structure.
We were moreover handicapped in that we have not seen their younger
women and young children. From our visit to their camp it became clear
however that the Mrabri live together in at least one group, forming one
society. In the camp there were 6 separate dwelling places (sketch 1 of
Velder) and though not all of them were in use, this indicates that the
group is split up into families. Each family ( up to 8 ) sleeps in a separate
dwelling place. From their behaviour on Doi Khun Sataan there is no
doubt that the man is the head of the family which basically consists of the
triangle : father, mother, son. The position of the woman is not clear
by lack of evidence. We have not seen such a triangle and therefore
classification of social structure cannot now be established; a patrilocal
system might however be the rule. We saw one ill woman : a grand-
mother who received medical treatment by Dr. Flatz; she did not speak.
We were told she came with her son and grandson and these three genera-
tions of Mrabri were photographed together (Photo 4). A later visitor to
the same group of Mrabri on Doi Khun Sataan, Hans Berthel from Mün-
chen, saw two more women (one of them is pictured with her child on

 

 

 

 

 

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SECOND EXPEDITION TO THE MRABRI (“KHON PA”) OF NORTH THAILAND 149

 

photo 12). Both women looked starved and exhausted and their faces were
covered with dirt. Dr. Flatz asks himself, " Why is it that the men look
healthy and strong and why are the women starving ? " These questions
must remain unanswered for the present. In one case we noted down the
following fragment of family structure among three Mrabri men standing
together. Their names were; Ai pan, Ai on and Ai laa. Ai on pointed
to Ai pan an said that Ai pan was his father. Ai on the pointed to Ai
laa and said that Ai laa was his nephew (laan หลาน) or :

 

s14

 

 

As far as we have been able to ascertain, the Mrabri are an en-
dogamous group and therefore do not marry outside their tribe. Insuffi-
cient knowledge however requires reservation in this respect.

As we have not seen the family together in the camp in their
daily work it is not possible to establish a division of work according to
sex. The men are the hunters but they know also quite well how to cook
in the bamboo containers.

 

Conclusion and Discussion.

When trying to determine the place of the culture of the Mrabri in
the scale of evolution of man we find an obstacle in our way. It is gene-
rally concluded that the evolution of homo sapiens at one time has passed
through the stone age ; through palaeolitic and neolithic phases. The man
from the palaeolithic age used crude stone tools and the more advanced
neolithic man used polished stone tools and earthenware pots for various
purposes. We have not found any evidence however that the Mrabri
have known a stone age ; the expedition has not found traces of stone im-
plements nor of earthenware pots. They seem to have missed that stage.
One concludes that the Mrabri belong to the bamboo age and moved from

 

 

 

 

 

 

150                                                 J.J. Boeles

 

there into the steel age and into the atomic age. This early stage of human
evolution of the Mrabri is characterized by the absence of evidence of
various basic criteria of material culture :

1. The Mrabri have not known a stone age.

( no stone implements, no pottery of any kind )

  1. Having no concept of the moveable handloom, the Mrabri do
    not make their own clothing. They are no ( longer ) pounders
    of tree bark.

  2. The Mrabri do not practice agriculture.

  3. The Mrabri do not build houses.

  4. The Mrabri wear no ornaments.

It will be difficult to find groups of human beings in this world
that still live in similar conditions.19 On the other hand some of their
accomplishments are impressive. The products of their limited material
culture are often made with great skill, like the woven rattan mats and
lidded baskets. Their strong and practical slingbags show a variety of 4
techniques in the production of one bag. They have now learnt how to
forge steel into knives and spear blades. On a narrow strip of bamboo their
artist has been able to create the closed world of the Mrabri, represented
by the jungle, the mountain stream, the mountain range and the blazing
sun.20 Many Mrabri speak several languages ; their moving songs are often
impromptu and when sung together the melody is often pure counterpoint.
One of them ( we called him " split ear " ) was able to keep up hours of
concentrated linguistic discussions for the establishment of the Mrabri
vocabulary, without getting mentally tired, nor even bored.

_____________________________________________________________ 

            19.  Society member John H. Brandt observes that since the Mrabi ad the

 " Negrito of Peninsular Thailand " ( J.S.S. XLIX, Part 2, 1961, pp. 124-160 ) are the

 only hunting-gathering nomadic groups known to live in Thailand it would be useful

 to make further cross cultural ecological studies of the two groups. ( Communication

 of 13. 2. 1963).

             20.  The symbolism of a closed world is found also in other civilisations in Asia.

 Cf. Paul Mus; Barabudur. Troisième partie. Le symbolifme du Barabudur, Chapitre I.

 Barabudur, Monde Clos.

 BEFEO. Tome XXXII - 1932, 353 etc.

 

 

 

 

 

SECOND EXPEDITION TO THE MRABRI (“KHON PA”) OF NORTH THAILAND 151

 

Notwithstanding their incredible diet they beat all of us when it
comes to exercises of physical culture like tree climbing and jungle explo-
ration.21 On both expeditions within a period of 7 months it was possi-
ble only to meet the Mrabri on a few days on each occasion. The first
time it was not possible to see their own camp in the jungle, the second
time this became possible, though the inhabitants had fled upon our arrival.
The meetings therefore have been much too short to arrive at definite
conclusions. The ideal set-up in the future would be that a very small
number of anthropologists (3) could stay with the Mrabri in their camp
and move around with them for a period of several months. This group
would have to include a linguist to make tape recordings and a physical
anthropologist M.D. who could take care of the blood research. The
third anthropologist could establish the pattern of the material culture of
the Mrabri. One of them should be an expert photographer. Our present
efforts are to be seen as a pilot project and the results have been encouraging
mainly resulting from the skilful preparations of our experienced leader
Mr. Kraisri Nimmanahaeminda from Chiengmai. We see both expeditions
together as an entity and in our methodological approach it is to be clas-
sified as a "divided field trip". This is a device for ensuring accuracy
and it enables the researcher to check and recheck the results of the first

___________________________________________________________________ 

21. Tree climbing — the speciality of the Mrabri men — is responsible for their
well developed pectoral muscles as shown on the illustration opposite page 173 of JSS.
Vol. L Part 2. This is the conclusion at which Dr. Flatz is arriving in his article in this
Journal.

This rules out another explanation which however in view also of the growing
Western interest in the field of Ethno-Medicine should be mentioned here. Kraisri
N. has been asking himself whether the Mrabri, as part of their diet, could have con-
sumed the tuberous roots of the kwao khrua (กวาวเครือ or Pueraria mirifica), a plant
growing in North Thailand and Burma and wellknown as a rejuvenating herbal
medicine. The possible value of this plant was first reported by A. Kerr in J.S.S.
Natural History Supplement 8. 336 ( 1932 ). Thorough biological, chemical and even
preliminary medical research has been published in Dec. 1950 in: Nature, Vol. 188,
No. 4753, pp. 774-777 :

Miroestrol : An Oestrogen from the plant
Pueraria mirifica

by Dr. James C. Cain.

National Research Development Corporation, London, WC 1.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

152                                                 J.J. Boeles

 

trip and to improve on his methods in the second. For this reason it be-
came possible for Khun Kraisri Nimmanahaeminda, after the second trip,
to establish an extensive Mrabri vocabulary in comparison with 7 other
Mon-Khmer ( non-tonal ) languages. The expedition has been particularly
fortunate to be able to carry out Anthropometric, Genetic and Medical
examinations by blood researcher Gebhard Flatz M.D. from Bonn. Dr.
Velder from Chiengmai prepared a note on the actual camp of the Mrabri.
These studies in the field are published in this issue of the Journal of the
Siam Society dealing exclusively with the Mrabri. This issue morever
contains a number of photos, drawings and one map of the area. The
make-up of the expedition was such that it became possible to eliminate
interpreters and informants other than the Mrabri themselves by which
method the risk of ethnocentric interpretations was considerably reduced.
The standard field technique of the rigid and prepared questionnaire was
deliberately set aside for the same reason. It is realised that the time to
write another monograph on the Mrabri has not yet arrived. This would
only become possible after a fieldstudy of the Mrabri in their original
habitat had been made. To mention only a few gaps in our knowledge
to be the filled :

  1. A comparison with similar Mon-Khmer language groups in
    Laos and in South-Vietnam, together with a comparison of
    other aspects of their cultures.

  2. Further blood research ; to acquire greater statistical accuracy.

  3. The establishment of the phonology of the Mrabri language.

  4. A full description of the techniques used in making the arti-
    facts of the material culture of the Mrabri as well as com-
    parison with related techniques in other hill tribes.

  5. A study of the social structure of the Mrabri and their be-
    haviour patterns in dry and wet seasons.

  6. A study of their psychology and religious beliefs.

  7. A study of the attitude of the Mrabri towards the outside
    world; the Meo, Kamu, Tin, Thai, as well as with tribes like
    the Khon Paa in Laos.

 

There will be additional problems of human relationship waiting
to be solved before such a second monograph could be established. In
the meantime it will remain unprofitable to attempt a systematic evalua-
tion of the work of Bernatzik on the Yumbri. It is hoped that further

 

 

 

 

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SECOND EXPEDITION TO THE MRABRI (“KHON PA”) OF NORTH THAILAND 153

 

plans to visit the Mrabri for longer periods may materialize so that ulti-
mately the missing gaps in our knowledge may be filled. At this moment
we are inclined to believe that the Yumbri of Bernatzik belong to the same
group of people-ethnic and linguistic-as our Mrabri. A comparison of the
material published by Bernatzik in his monograph on the Yumbri with the
results of the two last expeditions in the same province to the Mrabri
would strongly indicate this. The linguistic evidence is however not con-
vincing enough to remove all doubt on this point. More research has to
be done and more linguistic material will have to be collected before a
definite position can be taken. To Bernatzik goes the credit of having
published the first monograph on the elusive Yumbri; the first monograph
written on any tribe in Thailand. Without our curiosity having been
roused by his book, we would not have tried to find them again. The
present exposition of the Mrabri as a still living primitive society within
Thailand is of importance because there are a great many people in this
country who are still in doubt whether these Phi Tong Lüang, the Mrabri,
are human beings or Phi (spirits). Tribesmen have been known to kill
Mrabri by shooting and this may explain their great fear of human beings.
It is indicative for the interest of the people in this problem, that the news
story in the Thai weekly Kon Muang in Chiengmai, bringing the first ac-
count of our expedition to the Mrabri, was awarded the first prize as the
best news story of the year.

The origin of the Mrabri is as yet unknown. It is possible however
that they belong to remnants of autochthonic people, possibly to be de-
signated as palaeomongoloid, that roamed in South East Asia long before
the arrival of the Thai. There is a link to be found with the past. Photo
15 shows two identical patterns of ornament. Fig. I shows the cross
hatched motif of the Mrabri of today, whilst Fig. II shows the same
pattern on the rim of an earthenware pot from the neolithic cave man of
Sai Yok ( Changvat Kanchanaburi ). We found no evidence that the
Mrabri have known a stone age ; however patterns are persistent.22

It is possible and even likely that there are still other remote moun-
tain "pockets" where similar isolated groups live akin to the Mrabri
possibly in Laos in the region of Sayaburi between the Mekong and the

 _______________________________________________________________

22. We are indebted to H.R. Van Heekeren, National Museum of Ethnology,
Leiden for permitting us to publish the rim of the neolithic pot of photo 15. This pot
is from the big cave of Sai Yok on the Kweh Noi, Changvat Kanchanaburi; the pattern
on the rim is not at all common. See : H.R. Van Heekeren. A brief Survey of the Sai-
Yok expedition. J.S.S. Vol. L. Part 1 1962.

Fig. I of photo 15 was drawn from the bamboo container appearing on Plate 3,
I and on Plate 2, II, III,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

154                                               J.J. Boeles

 

Thai border. This will have to be investigated. The number of Mrabri
around Doi Khun Sataan maybe 40. Our group and Berthel together
have not seen more than 35. Their future is grim as will be explained
by Flatz. It is hoped however that a way may be found whereby it
would become possible for the Mrabri to survive. Survival will depend
in the first place on the possibility of earning food through work, through
barter or otherwise.

Acknowledgements.

Both expeditions to the Mrabri in 1962 and in this year, under
leadership of Mr. Kraisri Nimmanahaeminda of Chiengmai, were
organised and have been financed by the Siam Society Research Centre.
The Centre is financed through a Grant awarded by the Ford Foundation
in New York for the purpose of carrying out research. This publication
represents the results of the field studies. The Centre is grateful for the
assistance and cooperation of the Commissioner of Changvat Nan and
of the Border Patrol Police of Nan. When working out the results in
Bangkok the Centre was furthermore fortunate to have the benefit of the
information on botanical matters so readily supplied by Dr. Kasin Suva-
tabandhu, Professor of Botany, Chulalongkorn University and by Mr. Tem
Smitinand of the Royal Forestry Department. We are indebted to
Government teacher Miss Prangthip Patanapakdee for her valuable infor-
mation on the techniques used in producing basketry and sling-bags.
Research Assistant and Librarian Mrs. Chucheep Thiarabongs Boyle of
the Centre in here untiring efforts showed ingenuity in the approach to
the understanding of the material culture of the Mrabri. However none
of these studies could have been written without the leadership of Mr.
Kraisri Nimmanahaeminda whose deep knowledge of things of the North
and whose superb organisation proved again to be a delight to all parti-
cipants.

The frontcover, drawings and sketches were done my Prasert
Povichien. Photos Nos. 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, were made by the author. Photo
15 is reproduced by courtesy of the National Museum for Ethnology,
Leiden.

A research study by

The Siam Society Research Centre

August 1963.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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SECOND EXPEDITION TO THE MRABRI (“KHON PA”) OF NORTH THAILAND 157

 

                                                   Selected Bibliography.

Previous reports on the Phi Tong Luang or Kha Tong Luang (Mrabri ).

The earliest source is possibly :

SEIDENFADEN, E. "Further Notes About the Chaubun, Etc.

"JSS. XIII, pt. 3 (1919) 49-51.

Gives a third hand account of the Kha Dong
Luang ( the withered leaves' savages ) living
in the jungle on the slopes of the big Pu Kio
mountain, which in the west separates Amphö
Pak Bang from the Petchabun changvad.
Names of Tambol given, Description given
fits with that of the Mrabri, except that the
Kha Kong Luang are said to go naked.

KERR, A.F.G. " Ethnological Notes ". JSS. XVIII, Pt. 2,

(1942)

" The Kā Tawng Luang", 142-144.

An informant relates that the Ka Tawng
Luang lived on the plateau of the large sand-
stone mountain, Pu Kading, on the boundary
between ( the former ) muang Loi and Muang
Lom. They had been seen in a band of 30
in Bân Sitān. It was said they had curly
hair ; wore a loin cloth ; no women. They
said there were plenty more East of the
Mekong.

SEIDENFADEN, E. " The Khā Tong Lu'ang. " JSS. XX, pt. 1

( 1926 ) 41-48 Reports on the meeting of Mr.
T. Wergeni with Phi Tong Lu'ang in 1924
at Bān Nam Pu on the Road from Prae to
Nan, about 50 km. north east of Prae. Des-
cription in general agrees with that of the
Mrabri.

The report mentions that the Phi Tong Luang
know how to fashion steel ( obtained from
the Lao or the Khamu ) for their lances.
The spears are often poisoned. They do not
fish as they seldom descend into the valleys.

 

 

 

 

 

 

158                                                  J.J. Boeles

 

Exogamy is strictly practised ; the position of
the woman is very low. They sometimes
carve their earplugs and the bamboo tubes
for carrying their fire implements ( they use
tinder and steel for producing fire." )

BOURKE-BORROWES. D. " Further Notes on the Phi Tong Lu'ang ".

JSS. XX, pt2 (1926) 167-166

Reports that 6 or 7 Phi Tong Luang had been
seen in Ban Siew, Amphur Saantaw, Chang-
vat Uttaradit. (p 168).

WINIT WANADORN. Phra. " Some information concerning the " Phi

Tawng Luang" obtained from a few residents
of a village in the Nam Wa district, east of
Nan." JSS. XX, pt. 2 ( 1926) 171-174. Sofar
the most complete and most accurate account.
The account states that these people wear
loin cloth made of woven bast fibre of the
Antiaris toxicaria tree, beaten out. Mattresses
and blankets are also made of the same
material. ( 171 ).

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY:                   John F. Embree and Lillian Ota Dotson.

Bibliography of the peoples and Cultures of
Mainland Southeast Asia. New Haven 1950.
See : Thailand Tribal and Ethnic Minority
groups, pp. 540 etc.

BIBLIOGRAPHY :                  Bibliography of Material about Thailand in

Western Languages. Chulalongkorn Univer-
sity. Bangkok 1960. See Ethnic Groups.

EICKSTED. Egon Freiherr von. Rassendynamik von Ostasien. Berlin, 1944.

 

BERNATZIK, Hugo, Adolf. Les Esprits des feuilles jaunes. Paris, 1955.

Translation from the German edition by
Alphonse Tournier with Notes and biblio-
graphy by Georges Condominas.

French sources quoted by Condominas but
not all accessible in Thailand are :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SECOND EXPEDITION TO THE MRABRI (“KHON PA”) OF NORTH THAILAND 159

 

CUISINIER, Jeanne,            les Müong. Géographie humaine et sociologie.

Paris, Institut d'Ethnologie, 1948, Plates, ill.
maps bibl. index.

FROMAGET j.                         Ètudes géologiques sur le nord de l'Indochine

centrale. Hanoi. Bulletin du Service géol. de
l'Indochine, vol. XVI, fasc. 2, 1927. Plates,
maps, bibl. index. (See pp. 17-41 and pl. IV. D).

 

GUIONARD R.P. Th.             Note sur une peuplade des montagnes du

Quang-Binh; les Tac-Cui. B.E.F.E.O. T. XI,
1911, pp. 201-205.

SKINNER. G. William.         Review of H.A. Bernatzik, Les esprits des feuil-

les jaunes. J.S.S. Vol. XLIII. Pt. 2. (1956)
pp. 163-170.

ROBERT W. Weaver.           Through unknown Thailand. Natural His-

tory, June 1956. 289 etc.

Weaver and Goodman were possibly the first
Western explorers having met Phi Thong
Luang since Bernatzik. The meeting took
place in the mountainous region of Amphur
Dan Sai, Changvat Loey in North East Thai-
land. It is quite possible that the people des-
cribed in this general account were Mrabri.

ROUX, Henri                         Quelques Minorités Ethniques du Nord-Indo-

chine.

France Asie. 92-93. 1954.

BERNATZIK, Hugo.             Die neue grosse Völkerkunde. 3 Vols. Frank-

furt 1954. For the Yumbri see Vol. 2. p. 231
etc. and index.

CONDOMINAS, Georges.  Nous avons mangé la forêt. Paris. 1957.

Description of the Mnong Gar; a proto-indo-
chinese tribe North of Dalat (South Vietnam).

HERMOGENS F. BELEN.   Philippine Creative Handicrafts. Manila

1953.

Description of various techniques of rattan
weaving, plaiting and basketry work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

160                                              J.J. Boeles

 

ERIK SEIDENFADEN.         The Thai Peoples. The Siam Society, Bang-

kok 1958, p. 135/6.

GORDON YOUNG.               The Hill Tribes of Northern Thailand. The

Siam Society, Bangkok 1962, p. 65-68.

BRANDT, John J.                 "The Negrito of Peninsular Thailand".

J.S.S. Vol. XLIX Pt.2. 1961 pp. 123-158.
Map, 6 pi.

 

Report on the Socio-Economic Survey of the Hill Tribes in Northern Thailand.

Department of Public Welfare. Ministry of.
Interior, Bangkok, 1962. 112 pp. Stencil.

PATYA SAIHOO. The Hill Tribes of Northern Thailand.

Bangkok, 1963. 72 pp. App. Stencil.

Kraisri Nimmanahaeminda and Julian Hartland-Swann.

Expedition to the "Khon Pa" (or Phi Tong
Luang) ? J.S.S. Vol. L part 2. 1962 pp
165-186.

In Thai :

 

 

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