The Thai Hamlet from the Central Plains (38)


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Thailand has long been known as the land of agriculture; a fertile land well-suited to wet paddy cultivation. The people living in this low-lying flood plain are regularly found making their livelihood from rice farming and fruit plantations. In a farmer's village, we can find local farming tools such as water wheels for scooping water in the rice farm and a wooden conveyer belt for raising water. Since traditional Thai farming requires no engine, there is no oil wasted. In a very low plain area which often floods, the farmers often erect a high platform where straw is kept for feeding buffaloes in dry season. In the past, when there was still no rice mill, each family used a large mortar to husk rice by pounding and a threshing basket to winnow. The husks would be discharged by the wind while the pure rice remained in the basket. The rice would then be divided into two assortments; with one containing pure rice and the other containing powdered rice mixed with rice barn.

The latter was used to feed animals. Muang Boran has re-erected a group of Thai Hamlets made of paneled teak surrounded by steady fences. The village is intended to portray the way of life of Thai farmers who live in the central plain area. Authentic rice cultivation and local farming tools are used.