Thailands Temple Rubbings
Thai Temple Rubbings
Thailand is famous not just for its winsome Thai smile but also for its Thai Temple Rubbings. Just like the rest of the world when it comes to producing works of art to interpret their rich culture, Thai Temple Rubbings have become one of the famous symbols of Thai tradition. Tourists have purchased some of these Thai Temple Rubbings from local Thai merchandisers to take home with them to keep as mementoes of their Thailand trip. The main debate as of this time is the growing concern over the damage brought on by the constant rubbings on the ancient walls and carvings.
The main inspiration for Thai Temple Rubbings has always been the Thailand epic Ramakien. As part of their pilgrimage, devotees of Rama would rub charcoal on any material over the carvings of these famous epic to keep as their souvenir of this particular symbolical journey. Nowadays, devotees can still go on a pilgrimage tour but they are banned by the government in rubbing the stones to preserve these historical sites.
Historical Overview of Thai Temple Rubbings
For those who might not know it, Ramakian is the main foundation of Buddhist literature and belief in Thailand. Ramakian is simply translated as the glory of Rama, hence the change from Ramakian to Ramakien. It is no wonder why Thai people interpret their love and devotion for their deity by creating shadow puppet stage plays in mini theaters. Since the late 1960s various temples around Bangkok, Thailand have been the main site where skilled local artists trace Thai Temple Rubbings with the use of high quality rice paper. These artists once use colored chalks to imitate the exact likeness of any temple wall carvings until they were banned. This is the reason why the old Thai Temple Rubbings are more valuable than ever.
The Temple of the Emerald Buddha is famous for having the most comprehensive coverage of the epic of Ramayana. No wonder why more than a hundred marble carvings cover this temple’s walls which produce more than that amount of original Thai Temple Rubbings in the past. Monks are photographed while they do their morning prayers. This is one of the closely observed and respected rituals that even locals and foreigners adhere to, before they go on with their business of taking pictures. Since the Ramakien is filled with amazing characters such as demons, giants, and other magical stuff there are many Thai Temple Rubbings that reflect these stories.
People in the West might not understand why Thai people are obsessed about this particular epic. Foreigners are entranced by the ageless beauty of these Thai Temple Rubbings not knowing that these Thai Temple Rubbings are the exact embodiment of what Thai art and culture is all about.
More about Thai Temple Rubbings History
Most of Thailand’s legends were painstakingly written on the walls and handed down through the next generation. Under the reign of Rama I, the Thai Grand Palace was built in Bangkok. It is on the grounds of Wat Phra Kaew where the Temple of the Emerald Buddha was built as a result of his master plan. It is no wonder why the walls of Wat Phra Kaew were gorgeously decorated with paintings from the epic Ramakien.
His successor Rama II carried on his fathers’ love for Ramakien. Rama II, added some Thai dancers with elaborate costumes and masks as theater performers. Rama II gave a happy ending to the once sad plight of Hanuman, king of the apes. This can be seen in some of the Thai Temple Rubbings that depict Thai musicians and dancers. Some Thai Temple Rubbings also show Musical Ladies, elephants and other symbols that depict Thailand. Some Thai Temple Rubbings show Phra Sangjajai which is Thailand’s version of the Chinese Buddha.
Phra Sangkajai has some traces of hair on his head unlike Chinese Buddha’s balding head. The robes that Thai Buddha wears are folded across on one shoulder which leaves the other shoulder exposed. These are shown on some Thai Temple Rubbings as well. This is also the main reason why these Thai Temple Rubbings are more than your average Thai souvenirs. It is simply taking a piece of Thai history home with you.
Most of these authentic Thai Temple Rubbings are quite unique that collectors from around the globe have bid on some limited edition art pieces. Most of these Thai Temple Rubbings are sold directly in Western art houses which fetch a handsome price for those who export them. To get the attention of most collectors, these Thai Temple Rubbings specific age is given on the catalogue information.