BOT Museum Presents Tai Textiles in Southeast Asia

Explore ancient Tai trade routes, commerce, and fashion at the BOT Museum’s exhibition, Tai Textiles in Southeast Asia.
Chiang Mai
04 June 2021

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BOT Museum Presents Tai Textiles in Southeast Asia

The Bank of Thailand Museum has unveiled its latest exhibition, Tai Textiles in Southeast Asia: Economic and Cultural Ties, sharing a treasure trove of handwoven Tai textiles dating as far back as 150 years.

Highlights

The rotation exhibition is part of the BOT Museum Northern Region Office’s Antique Textile Exhibit, displaying the history and development of Tai textiles. Highlights include:

  • A map of major historical trade routes in Southeast Asia from the past 100 to 200 years ago in Southeast Asia. 
  • Displays of unique handwoven textiles by the five ethnic Tai groups.
  • Other trade goods of the Tai people, such as imports of Chinese silk dresses and exports of herbal plants and spices.

The rotating exhibition is available until December 31st, 2021, Monday to Friday (except bank holidays) from 9:00am – 12:00pm and 1:00pm –  4:00pm. For more information, find exhibition details and English-language audio guides at the museum website

The Bank of Thailand Museum, Northern Region Office documents the economic history of the region through monetary artifacts and antique textiles. It is considered one of the largest collections of valuable and rare textiles in Thailand.

Prosperity & Commerce

Tai textiles served as highly visible signs of prosperity and cultural identity, representing the wealth and social standing of the individual as well as the wider economic prosperity of the ethnic group. Due to their value, there are numerous examples of textiles being used as a form of payment.

Today, Tai textiles also tell the story of historical trade relationships. For example, the Sin Mai Kham tube skirt of Princess Chao Tippawan Na Chiang Tung is decorated with silk-satin from China and ribbon from France.

Ethnic Roots

The Tai people had spread over Mainland and Southeast Asia, occupying major trade routes between the Asian empires of India and China. Aside from elaborate textiles, they have brought their language, with over 90 million people speaking languages based on the Tai language, including Thai.