MangoVine
Adventures in East Asia

Amulet Shopping and other Market Stuff

In Thailand, amulets are considered by some to be a vital form of spiritual protection from malevolent spirits and misfortune. They are small items that can be worn around a neck, made from bronze, clay, plaster or gold and can be individually hand-crafted or mass produced.

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The most popular of images on amulets are copies of sacred statues, revered holy men, kings, healers or monks. However, its the amulet's history that determines its efficacy with factors including where and by whom it was made, and whether a monk has been called upon to consecrate it.

In Thailand, amulets can also become collectors' items and there are half a dozen Thai magazines to fuel the pastime, giving histories and tips on distinguishing genuine or fake pieces.

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There were also seemingly plenty of places to buy amulets in Bangkok and we encountered single stalls on random street corners, along with organised collections and piles of metal in various markets.

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I got into the action when we came across a large stall in a market in between the Grand Palace complex and Wat Pho. Quite alot of Thai locals were clustered around this stall and there were alot of amulets to choose from so I got stuck in!

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Since I obviously had no idea about the culture, I simply chose what I liked the look of, perceiving the items to be future "fashion" pieces.

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This stall also sold little clear cases for the amulets.

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As for the rest of the market, there was a mixture of other metal, accessories, toys and tat.

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This guy was making up leather bags and other small items.

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This basket man was carrying around eggs and I guess he was trying to sell them as he walked around.

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From a distance, we saw a covered canopy of tables and thought it was an outdoor restaurant, only to find people having their fortunes read.

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This entry posted in : Culture. Shopping. Thailand.

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