Figurine for a spirit house

  • Earthenware
  • 7.3 x 4 x 4 cm
  • 16th-19th century, Ayutthaya period or Bangkok period
  • Origin: Chao Phraya River network, Central Thailand
  • Provenance: Ayutthaya or Bangkok, Thailand
  • Gift of Osborne and Gratia Hauge, and Victor and Takako Hauge
  • S2005.416

Curatorial Remarks

1. (Louise Cort, 13 December 2003) A note in Taka Hauge's handwriting with these figurines (S2005.416–418) at the time we collected them from the Hauge home on 24 November 2004 reads: "Spirit house figurines (Ayutthaya)."

2. (Louise Cort, 8 January 2007) An earthenware head of a male figurine with a top knot was excavated at the Ban Tao Hai kiln site north of Phitsanulok (Hein and Sangkhanukit ca.1984, 25, fig. 17 (A92EW)). Other figurines of this type were collected on the surface.

Hein, Don, and Prachote Sangkhanukit. 1985. Report on the Excavation of the Ban Tao Hai kilns, Phitsanulok, Thailand. Research Centre for Southeast Asian Ceramics Papers 1. Adelaide: University of Adelaide.

3. (Louise Cort, 8 January 2007) In modern Thailand, there are two varieties of "spirit houses." The ‘sanjaothi’, "abode of the lord of the place," seemingly the older of the two, rests on four posts and incorporates ancestral energies and spirits of the land. The Brahmanic type known as ‘sanpraphoom’, "abode of the honorable land guardian," rests on a single pillar. It typically houses an image of Prah Chaimonkon, "lord of glorious victory" (Cranfill 2006, 12–24).

Cranfill, Marisa. 2006. "Sanpraphoom: The Spirits in the Spirit Houses." Newsletter National Museum Volunteers 12: 12–24.

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