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The mountains of northern Thailand constitute part of northern Thai identity. They inspire fear and awe, respect and love, curiosity and creative imagination. They define both the physical and mental landscape of northern Thailand. Drawing on the legendary histories of three mountains in the region-Doi Ang Salung Chiang Dao, Doi Suthep, and Doi...
The mountains of northern Thailand constitute part of northern Thai identity. They inspire fear and awe, respect and love, curiosity and creative imagination. They define both the physical and mental landscape of northern Thailand. Drawing on the legendary histories of three mountains in the region-Doi Ang Salung Chiang Dao, Doi Suthep, and Doi Kham-coauthor Donald Swearer explores the various ways that mountains in northern Thailand are seen as sacred space, and therefore as an environment to be respected rather than exploited. The volume presents, in English translation, the stories associated with these sacred sites as recorded in the legendary chronicles, or tamnan, of the story of the Chiang Dao mountain and cave, the account of the enshrining of the Buddha relic on Doi Suthep, and the interwoven legends of the hermit Wasuthep, the demons Pu Sae and Ya Sae, the chief Wilangkha, and the queen Chamathewi. In preserving the fascinating folklore of these sacred mountains, the authors contribute to the preservation of the mountains themselves. Donald K. Swearer is the Charles and Harriet Cox McDowell Professor of Religion at Swarthmore College. Sommai Premchit is a consutant to the Social Research Institute, Chiang Mai University, and professor of sociology and anthropology at the Mahamkut Buddhist University, Lanna. Phaithoon Dokbuakaew is a researcher at the Social Research Institute, Chiang Mai University.
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