A STUDY OF STATUS AND WAY OF LIFE OF NORTHERN THAI WOMEN FROM DOCUMENTS AND MURAL PAINTINGS IN LANNA

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ปิยะนาถ อังควาณิชกุล

Abstract

In the olden days when conventions and traditions were strictly followed, Thai women in the central region were not equal to men due to certain Buddhist values. Definitions of legal rights were then based on the concept that women were the root cause of men’s desires, which were obstacles to the Enlightenment. This prevented women from having equal opportunities: they could not be ordained. Traditionally, men and women had different roles and statuses. Most men were educated and trained to be the leader, while women took a supporting role of serving their husbands and taking care of the family. They had less chance of education and their jobs were rarely those that required much knowledge. Moreover, Thai laws defined women as property, of their parents when they were young, and, after marriage, of their husbands. As for the women in the northern region, certain clauses in the “Mangraisart” Code, especially those about family affair, were more lenient with women and were quite different from their counterparts in the Law of the Three Seals of the central region.In the olden days when conventions and traditions were strictly followed, Thai women in the central region were not equal to men due to certain Buddhist values. Definitions of legal rights were then based on the concept that women were the root cause of men’s desires, which were obstacles to the Enlightenment. This prevented women from having equal opportunities: they could not be ordained. Traditionally, men and women had different roles and statuses. Most men were educated and trained to be the leader, while women took a supporting role of serving their husbands and taking care of the family. They had less chance of education and their jobs were rarely those that required much knowledge. Moreover, Thai laws defined women as property, of their parents when they were young, and, after marriage, of their husbands. As for the women in the northern region, certain clauses in the “Mangraisart” Code, especially those about family affair, were more lenient with women and were quite different from their counterparts in the Law of the Three Seals of the central region. During the reign of King Rama V, an increased number of westerners came to Siam and Southeast Asia. Some of these people wrote about the way of life of northern Thai women, both the noble ladies and common women. Apart from written documents, there were also other types or records, such as mural paintings. This research chose to study temples in two provinces - Chiangmai and Nan - because of their importance (the former being the center of Western Lanna Kingdom and the latter that of Eastern Lanna Kingdom) and the fact that there were mural paintings in Nan that depict the status of Lanna women.

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How to Cite
อังควาณิชกุลป. (2017). A STUDY OF STATUS AND WAY OF LIFE OF NORTHERN THAI WOMEN FROM DOCUMENTS AND MURAL PAINTINGS IN LANNA. Institute of Culture and Arts Journal, 19(1 (37), 82-91. Retrieved from https://www.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/jica/article/view/105628
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บทความวิจัย