Devotion to Works of Arts
Peacock Decorated with Hand-crafted Artificial Flowers
Hand Woven Basketry into a pair of Peacocks which apart from reflecting abundance, happiness and love, also depicts the natural beauty of weaving. The body is covered by woven bamboo strips with wings in “Khid” flower designs. Feathers are made from dyed Agave Fiber inserted with shining beetle wings.
This beautiful basketry started out in 1972 at Hoop Krapong Village, Petchburi when His Majesty King Bhumibol The Great had given land for agriculture to the local villagers, H.M. the Queen Mother encouraged the villagers to make use of the local agave plants to supplement their income during spare time.
Originally, agave plant’s fiber is very durable, suitable for making ropes for anchors or hauling the boats. H.M. the Queen Mother’s artistic acumen led to advice for the villagers to weave agave fiber into fashionable hats, handbags, belts, brooms, etc. H.M. arranged for training classes to improve the productions to the export level which brought higher income to the Hoop Krapong villagers until present time.
Villagers in Bann Tonn, Kok Kian, Narathivas Province call the mats woven from Krajood as “Sadd Jood” which they normally used as mats for Her Majesty Queen Sirikit The Queen Mother to walk on. H.M. was attracted to the striking designs of the mats leading further development of this type of weaving into handicrafts that supplement the income of the villagers.
Originally, the villagers weave Krajood to use as utensils for various uses such as sacks to keep rice, salt, sugar, mats in different designs. H.M. the Queen initiated the setting up of Krajood Weaving as a center for standard Krajood Handicraft. Aside from advising, H.M. found the expert artisans on the subject to teach and diversify the products into baskets for clothes, fans, handbags, etc. The local wisdom is thus handed down to the younger generations for preservation.
The important start of the revival of the ancient art of Yan Lipao Fern Vine Basketry took place during Her Majesty Queen Sirikit The Queen Mother’s visit to Narathivas noticing this type of Fern Vine widely found in the southern forests, popularly used by local people as raw material for weaving basketry.
The art of weaving Yan Lipao Basketry dated back to early Rattanakosin Era in Nakorn Srithammarat Province before being popularized in Bangkok later on. Ancient Yan Lipao Basketry came in many shapes and designs such as Tobacco Box, Stem Tray, Beetlenut Set, Beetlenut Box, Boxes, Handbags, Bird Cages, etc.
Yan Lipao Fern Vine Basketry is a delicate form of art that requires perseverance resulting in life-long beautiful objects. Regrettably, at the end of King Chulalongkorn’s reign, this art form was nearly extinct.
“Lan” or Fan Palm: Wonder Local Plant of Thailand
When H.M the Queen Mother visited the 3 border areas in the south in the year 1975, she noticed the beauty of handicraft from Fan Palm basketry in various sizes and shapes - baskets, big size cases. Thus, H.M. established Pandan Basketry weaving groups that could earn extra income from the sale of their products that were closely observed and advised by Her Majesty.
Her Majesty Queen Sirikit The Queen Mother paid a great deal of attention to local handicrafts that are indigenous of that particular area utilizing easily acquired sea shore plants such as “Panan” (Pandan) or “Lum Jiak” with the quality of toughness but soft with lustre, suitable for making household utensils such as mats.
H.M. the Queen Mother encouraged the Muslim communities to develop the Pandan basketry further to export level in the form of mats, pillows, shoulder bags, glass cases. They became popular souvenirs for both national and foreign visitors.
Khid Bamboo Basketry
Intricate portrayal of local motives on the surface of Khid Bamboo Basketry indigenous to the Isan (Northeastern Thai) was passed on for generations until its popularity faded with time. There was only one family in Kalasin who still knew the art of weaving this basketry. In 1974, Maha Sarakham Teacher’s College contacted the Private Secretary to H.M. the Queen to ask for Her Majesty Queen Sirikit the Queen Mother’s help to preserve this art of Khid Bamboo Basketry. H.M. the Queen Mother immediately accepted it into a SUPPORT handicraft project, inviting Mr. Sritad Sopakayoung and members of his family to teach this art to SUPPORT trainees at Phu Pan Palace Workshop, Sakon Nakorn Province and continue on to the main training center at Chitralada Villa. A great number of artisans were able to insure that this Khid Bamboo Basketry will continue the legacy with higher intricacy in conservation of this art in Thai culture.
The Emergence of Hilltribe Bamboo Basketry
During the visits to the Hilltribes in Northern Thailand of Their Majesties King Bhumibol The Great and Her Majesty Queen Sirikit The Queen Mother, Her Majesty noticed that daily lives of these hilltribes depend a great deal on natural resources like bamboo and rattan since ancient time.With Her Majesty’s acumen and vision, observing the use of rattan and various kind of bamboo in constructing houses and weaving them into household utensils, durable in all climate, flexible into all cuts and shapes, Her Majesty encouraged the hilltribes to weave rattan and bamboo basketry for sale to increase income while encouraging to plant more rattan plants as well as conserving the rattan and bamboo forests from destruction or depletion. These parallel plans are still in operation for decades.
Her Majesty the Queen Mother’s Desk
“The Desk” had served Her Majesty throughout the regions of the country - on mountain terrain, on sand, on dry lands, in rough and remote forests, from strong sunlight to sunset, to nightfall, until late night. “The Desk” heard the sufferings of the local villagers, saw the tears pouring from their eyes until they dried up and turned into smiles after Her Majesty consoled them with Her gentle smiles promising them the ways and means to alleviate their problems and sufferings. Their faces lighted up with new hope for their future. If “the Desk” could talk, many touching tales would be related to everyone to join in such remarkable experience.