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Thai Amulets


Noble_Design
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More than 10 years ago when I was still working back at my home country, I had a supplier who is very much into collecting Thai amulets and he has like a whole room in his house dedicated to them. He was also quite an opportunist, you see my company is doing business with his company and some of the stuffs that my company requires were manufactured in Thailand. So on the pretext of checking the part's quality he was always making requesting his company to send him to Thailand to do that.

And he will drag me with him since I was the person in charge in my company to order said parts. Well who would say no to free all expense paid trips to Thailand right? We will typically fly to Thailand twice or 3 times a year, and on each trip the itinerary would typically be:

First day: Visit the local supplier to check part's quality

Second day: Trips to temples for him to collect amulets

Third and fourth day: Shopping in day time, naughty activities during night time

Following him and his extensive knowledge of Thai amulets, I basically collected bits of info and knowledge myself. Once we went very early from our Asok Sukhumvit hotel all the way to Wat Ban Rai in Nakhon Ratchasima and then back to Bkk in the same day on a Friday (the most traffic heavy day). Talk about crazy.

Anyway since he's the one renting all the amulets, the laymen at the temple will also give some to me for free. In each trip this supplier friend of mine will typically spend 30K - 50K baht on amulets. 

Let me show some of the amulets I have accumulated during those trips with him. I will also try my best to explain the name/style of the amulets and and information related to them:

Somdej:

A style made famous by Somdej Toh (LP Toh) from Wat Rakang, Bkk. Typically made of fragrant powder pressed into a mold and then left to dry. Could also include jasmine flowers, ashes from incense. It was said that the original Somdej made by LP Toh is the most valuable and hence most expensive amulet in Thailand.

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This one is from LP Koon of Wat Banrai, it has takrut imbedded in it and image of LP Koon at the back. Encased in acrylic by yours truly and hung at my car's rear view mirror:

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Btw when purchasing an amulet, Thais would say they are renting them instead of buying because buying is too inauspicious of a word to use when dealing with these holy items. 

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44 minutes ago, Marc26 said:

Nice thread.....informative 

I like your stories and experiences 

You seem like an interesting guy.....

Thanks, I guess I was lucky to be around interesting people in Thailand too.

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Takrut:

Takrut are amulets in the form of scrolls. The scrolls can be written or stamped with Buddhist geometric shapes (yant) or prayers (kattha), and then rolled into a cylindrical shape to be worn or placed at locations where protections are needed.

Takrut are very ancient amulets and predates a lot of the other amulets in Thailand. They can be made of cloth, animal skin/leather, brass, copper, lead, tin, silver and even gold. Since they do not carry the image of Buddha or monks, the wearer has the option of wearing them below the neck (it is disrespectful to wear amulets with Buddha or monk images below the neck). In the old days a lot of people would pass a string around the middle of the takrut and wear it on their waist.

This here is an example of a small gold takrut (front) and a larger copper takrut (back) from Wat Banrai made by LP Koon. Interestingly LP Koon is known to be an expert in inserting gold takrut under the skin of the wearer:

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Yes you read that right, there are monks who are able to insert very small and fine gold takrut under the skin. This is believed to imbue the wearer with invincibility or beauty.

Takrut can also be combined with other amulets, example like the Somdej that I have shown earlier. You can see the 3 takrut at the base of the Buddha:

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Nowadays people would encase them in acrylic case and wear them around the neck:

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