Kamthieng House Museum's wood carving collection - 'Hamyon'. This intricate, carved wooden plaque above the bedroom door is considered a protective talisman for the family, dividing the private family space inside, from the public verandah space outside. Beyond this point, those who are 'tang-phi' (literally 'of a different spirit') meaning 'of a different clan', must ask permission of the ancestral spirits (phi pu-ya') to enter.The 'ham yon' is variously believed to represent the protective power of the ancestral spirits, or of the male head of household. The latter is based on a loose interpretation of the word 'ham', meaning 'testicles', and 'yon' the northern Thai derivative of the Sanskrit word 'yantra', for 'magic diagram or symbol'. But many northern scholars find this interpretation linguistically problematic.The proportion of the 'ham yon' is base on the foot of the main male householder, multiplied by 3 or 4, according to status. Usually installed with a new house, the 'ham yon' plaque is taken down and beaten ritually to remove its power, each time the main male householder changes. A new 'ham yon' is then commissioned and installed with the proper rites. These 'ham yon' are only a part of carved wood collection, which were purchased by the Siam Society from northern Thailand in 1965. The whole collection includes cover 200 items. All of them are over 200 years old.

Carved wood with design of "vase of plenty" (puranaghata)

Lintel with simple spanrail arch edged with plain band. Upper Chinese keys band. Scrolls of foliage in "Lai Kan Khod" and "Lai Kanok" arranged with geometric precision in area above double arch.

Lintel forming simple spanrail arch. 3 layers of decorative edging --upper lotus border above Chinese keys band, which surmounts a band of superimposed layers of petals, fanning out from a central tablet flower. The principal design consists of a large central lotus flanked by 2 smaller lotus flower. Leaves arise in pairs from above each flower, the arch is edged with 2 similar large leaves, and small rosettes are scattered among the leaves. The combination of varied designs results in a heavy appearance.

The Motifs used in this carving piece is a bunch of vine with traditional Thai pattern called "Lai Kanok Kab" and "Lai Kan Khod",arised from the central flower.

Oblong panel with lateral chevron leaf bands. Two leafy volutes join in central leafy stem bract, all decorated by small stylized volutes.

Carved panel from a single piece of teak. It is an elaborate composition of cloud pattern and a bunch of vine with "Lai Kanok".

Perforated carved wood in could motif, framed in a rectangular shape.

Oblong panel with superior rosette band. Bow shaped arch with heart center divides panel into areas under arch and spanrail, ornamented with leafy vine.

Credits: Story

Kamthieng House Museum of The Siam Society Under Royal Patronage

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