Thailand // The central plains //

The Sergeant Major Thawee Folklore Museum


The Sergeant Major Thawee Folklore Museum (Jatawee Buranaket) puts a different slant on the region’s culture. Its fascinating look at traditional rural life makes this one of the best ethnology museums in the country. The collection, which is housed in a series of wooden pavilions, belongs to former sergeant major Dr Thawee, who has pursued a lifelong personal campaign to preserve and document a way of life that’s gradually disappearing. Highlights include the reconstructed kitchen, veranda and birthing room of a typical village house, known as a “tied house” because its split-bamboo walls are literally tied together with rattan cane; and an exceptionally comprehensive gallery of traps: dozens of specialized contraptions designed to ensnare everything from cockroaches to birds perched on water buffaloes’ backs. There’s also a display on weaving and natural dyes, a collection of traditional toys and some fearsome-looking wooden implements for giving yourself a massage.

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