Amidst modernization: Changes in the tradition of raft-launching for misfortune expulsion in Takhria Community, Ranot District, Songkhla Province

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จุรีรัตน์ บัวแก้ว

Abstract

      This research was to explore changes in the tradition of raft-launching for misfortune expulsion in Takhria Sub-district, Ranot District, Songkhla Province.  The data of this qualitative study were collected from related documents and research reports and through in-depth interviews with locals of Takhria Sub-district and government officials involved in organizing the tradition of raft-launching for misfortune expulsion, and through participant observations. Critiques were made of the phenomenon through collecting local historical data and field data in the study area.  The study found that core organizers have changed from community leaders to government officers who use government power to manage the tradition of raft-launching for misfortune expulsion, a way of life in Takhria. Modernization has changed the rituals to be performed by only Buddhist monks. The raft for misfortune expulsion is made by hired craftsmen instead of locals getting together to make it.  Modern materials are bought for decoration of the raft, and offerings to sacred things consist of modern desserts and modern products instead of traditional food and traditional products. Publicity of the event is made through online media.  The rituals have been modernized and formalized with support from the public sector; in every step of the rituals, more importance is given to local political leaders than value of the ritual. The roles of local people and the temple have reduced to being only participants of the ritual.


 


 

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