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Ordination

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Title

Ordination

Description

Silk still plays an important role in ordination ceremonies for young monks in Surin. In the rituals that occur before a man ordains, he wears a silk paa sarong (ผ้าโสร่ง), as the young boy does in this photograph. At the ordination, a bai sri tree is prepared for the bai sri ceremony (พิธีบ่ายศรี), and among Khmer communities, the bai sri tree is always wrapped with a piece of hol silk. The presence of hol in this ritual points to the pattern’s sacredness and social meaning. Through ordination, young men fulfill expected social roles, and community identity and ethos are affirmed through attendance and participation at the temple. As such, visual and material elements such as hol evoke and enhance these bonds in multisensory layers.