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Respecting the Teachers

Dublin Core


Respecting the Teachers


In this image, members of Ajaan Surachote’s weaving group are conducting their annual wai khru (ไหว้ครู) ceremony at Ajaan Surachote’s home. As the women chant blessings, they also call out their wishes in Thai and Khmer, asking their teacher to help them to create beautiful mat mee patterns, to dye with skill, and to remember the patterns when they weave. The ritual offerings are presented below an area dedicated to Paruhat’s grandmother, who taught the couple everything she knew about natural dyes and mat mee; she is the khru being blessed and respected by the weaving group. Her image that hangs on the wall is framed by indigo threads and a skein of hol-patterned silk that she made, and the shelves below her picture display the many awards that Ajaan Surachote has won as a result of her spectral guidance. As Sandra Dudley (2011) attests, observing particular taboos and rituals

"during the dyeing or weaving of the fibers, for example, lends power to certain textiles – a power that may be known and understood both by those who see and those who more intimately, physically interact with the cloth. Such power may not be seen or physically felt, yet it can still play an important part in how a cloth is treated, stored, and used – and indeed how it is seen and felt." p.69