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Story by Joe Cummings / CPA Media (9 October, 2022)

Thai Buddhist amulets, also known as "phra phim" in Thai, have a long and rich history in Thai culture and religion. The tradition of making and wearing amulets dates back to ancient times, and they are believed to provide protection and bring good luck to those who wear them.

The earliest known amulets in Thailand were made from natural materials such as wood, bone, and stone. These amulets were often in the shape of animals or deities and were believed to have protective powers. As Buddhism spread throughout Thailand, the designs of amulets began to incorporate Buddhist teachings and symbols.

During the Ayutthaya period (1350-1767), the use of amulets became widespread among the Thai people. Amulets were made by monks and holy men, who imbued them with spiritual power through their meditation and chanting. These amulets were often made from metals such as gold, silver, and bronze, and were engraved with Buddhist symbols and mantras.

The popularity of amulets continued to grow during the Rattanakosin period (1782-1932) and into modern times. Today, amulets are still made by monks and spiritual practitioners, as well as by artists and craftsmen who create amulets with intricate designs and details.

The significance of amulets in Thai Buddhism is rooted in the belief in karma and the cycle of rebirth. It is believed that by wearing an amulet, one can accumulate good karma and protect themselves from negative energy or harm. Different amulets are believed to offer different types of protection or benefits, such as wealth, health, and success.

In addition to their protective powers, amulets also hold cultural and historical significance in Thai society. Amulets are often passed down through generations and are cherished as family heirlooms. They also serve as a tangible reminder of Thailand's rich cultural and religious heritage.

Overall, Thai Buddhist amulets hold deep meaning and significance in Thai culture and religion. They serve as a symbol of faith, protection, and tradition, and continue to be an important aspect of Thai spiritual and cultural identity.

Story by Joe Cummings; Photo by Joe Cummings - CPA Media