Catagorize: Village, Community
Contact: Amphoe Chiang Khan, Loei
The Tai Dam People of Ban Pa Nat is a group of Tai People who used to live near the Black and Red Rivers in present day Northern Vietnam. In 1882, after the Haw Wars, some Tai Dam People immigrated to Siam. One of the well-known Tai Dam groups is “Tai Dam” or “Lao Song”, who lives in Petchaburi and in Central Thailand. Another Tai Dam group also lives Ban Na Pa Nat, Loei. Most of the Tai Dam People here are members of Tai Dam royal family.
Apart from discovering the local lifestyle and Tai Dam-style houses aged over a hundred years, visitors usually go to the Tai Dam Cultural Village, located in Ban Na Pa Nat, Moo 4. Here exhibitions of traditional Tai Dam houses are held. The house displayed is built in the Rueng Khrueang Phuk style. It has a rood made of blady grass or vetiver and a large space under the house. Moreover, the stairs in front of the house are for men only. Furthermore, the house has three rooms. Hong Phi Ruean and Phi Pu Ya is a room of the holy spirits held in high esteem by the Tai Dam. Also, the largest room in the house is a bedroom for everyone in the family. There will be a hearth placed near a foot of the house owner while he is lying to keep everybody warm. In addition, the last room is the kitchen, attached to which are stairs for women.
In addition, at the space under the house, a group of Tai Dam women gather to weave fabric in a traditional way. The Tai Dam fabric is known as “Sin Nang Han”. It features beautiful patterns unique to the Tai Dam fabric. As a cultural heritage that has been passed down over a hundred of years, there is also a legend about Sin Nang Han.
Legend has it that three Tai Dam sisters decided to weave a sinh, a traditional garment worn by women. The first woman to weave the fabric was the one who created the patterns for the fabric. Unfortunately, she died before the woven fabric was completed. The second continued weaving but later died as well. As for the third, before weaving, she prayed to holy spirits for her success and made a promise that if she succeeded in weaving the fabric, she would pay a tribute to the holy spirits during the Sen Ruean Ceremony. Surprisingly, she managed to finish weaving the fabric. From then on the Tai Dam has been using Sin Nang Han in the Sen Ruean Ceremony.
The name “Nang Han”, literally meaning a brave woman, originated from the boldness of the third female weaver in the legend.
Furthermore, there is an exhibition of Tai Dam letters for visitors to discover more about the Tai Dam culture. Moreover, local products made by the Tai Dam Female Group, for example, fabric, herbal soap and colourful flowers from knitting yarn are available at reasonable prices for visitors to buy.
The village is open daily from 9:00 to 21:00.
Association for Conservation of Tai Dam Culture: Tel. 08 1048 2000
Tourism Authority of Thailand, Loei Office: Tel. 0 4281 2812, 0 4281 1405