Main Article Content

Ratchapan Karapan
Panot Susuwan


This is an examination of the continued dynamics and adaptation of the Phuan ethnic group in Thailand, especially how their customs have changed according to evolving social and environmental conditions. The objective was to understand the factors that have affected the dynamics and adaptation of the group in order to analyse the inheritance of their cultural practices and encourage accurate dissemination of Phuan traditional knowledge. A qualitative research method was used in four Phuan communities from different regions of Thailand. Data was gathered from observations, interviews and documentary research. The findings indicate that there are significant similarities between the cultural adaptations of Phuan people in each of the four areas, although there are also notable regional differences. There are dangers of staged authenticity in the pursuit of cultural conservation, especially through provincial or regional exhibitions. Instead, the researchers recommend a more participatory and organic approach.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details



Agostini, A. (2018). Christianity, Ancestor Worship, and Cultural Revitalisation among Akha Communities in the Upper Mekong Region. Thammasat Review, 21(2), 1-16.

Alexander, S., & McCargo, D. (2014). Diglossia and Identity in Northeast Thailand: Linguistic, Social, and Political Hierarchy. Journal of Sociolinguistics, 18(1), 60-86.

Aneksuk, B., & Ruangkamnerd, A. (2010). Dynamic of Boon Kam Fa Tradition of Phuan Ethnic Group in the Thailand Tourism Context. WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment, 139(1), 411-422.

Ar-romsuk, T. (1978). A Comparative Study of the Tones of Spoken Words between Phuan Dialect and Standard Thai (Master’s thesis), Srinakharinwirot University, Bangkok, Thailand.

Boonsom, W. (2017). A Comparison of Symbolic Textile Patterns among the Lao Phuan in Chieng Kwang, Lao People’s Democratic Republic; the Thai Phuan in Ban Mi, Lopburi Province; and the Thai Phuan in Hat Siao, Sukhothai Province, Thailand. Journal of Mekong Societies, 13(1), 171-187.

Breazeale, K. (1975). The Integration of the Lao States into the Thai Kingdom (Ph.D. thesis), University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.

Breazeale, K. (2012). Historical Population Movements in North and Northeast Thailand. Journal of Population and Social Studies [JPSS], 20(2), 109-144.

Breazeale, K., & Smuckarn, S. (1988). A Culture in Search of Survival: The Phuan of Thailand and Laos. New Haven: Yale University Southeast Asia Studies.

Bunnag, Tej. (1968). The Provincial Administration of Siam from 1892 to 1915 (Ph.D. thesis), University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.

Burns, P. (2001). Brief Encounters: Culture, Tourism and the Local-Global Nexus. In S. Wahab & C. Cooper (Eds.), Tourism in the Age of Globalisation (pp. 290-305). London: Routledge.

Burusapatana, K., & Atipas, P. (1988). Thai Government Policies on Minorities. Asian Journal of Social Science, 16(1), 47-60.

Chantavanich, S. (2004). Qualitative Research Methods. Bangkok: Chulalongkorn University Press.

Diller, A. (2002). What Makes Central Thai a National Language? In C. Reynolds (Ed.), National Identity and Its Defenders: Thailand Today (pp. 71-107). Bangkok: Silkworm.

Dolezal, C. (2011). Community-Based Tourism in Thailand: (Dis-)Illusions of Authenticity and the Necessity for Dynamic Concepts of Culture and Power. ASEAS - Austrian Journal of South-East Asian Studies, 4(1), 129-138.

Draper, J., Garzoli, J., Kamnuansilpa, P., Lefferts, L., Mitchell, J., & Songkünnatham, P. (2019). The Thai Lao - Thailand's Largest Unrecognised Transboundary National Ethnicity. Nations and Nationalism, 25(4), 1131-1152.

Draper, J., & Selway, J. S. (2019). A New Dataset on Horizontal Structural Ethnic Inequalities in Thailand in Order to Address Sustainable Development Goal 10. Social Indicators Research, 141(1), 275-297.

Enfield, N. (2002). How to Define ‘Lao’, ‘Thai’ and ‘Isan’ Language? A View from Linguistic Science. Tai Culture, 7(1), 62-67.

Hesse-Swain, C. (2011). Speaking in Thai, Dreaming in Isan: Popular Thai Television and Emerging Identities of Lao Isan Youth Living in Northeast Thailand (Ph.D. thesis), Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia.

Iijima, A. (2018). The Invention of “Isan” History. Journal of the Siam Society, 106(1), 171-200.

Ivanovic, M. (2008). Cultural Tourism. Cape Town: Juta & Company Ltd.

Juntanamalaga, P. (1988). Thai or Siam? Names, 36(1-2), 69-84.

Kashima, Y. (2014). How Can You Capture Cultural Dynamics? Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 995. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00995

Keyes, C. (2014). Finding Their Voice: Northeastern Villagers and the Thai State. Chiang Mai: Silkworm.

Lefferts, L., & Cate, S. (2012). Theravada Buddhism and Political Engagement Among the Thai-Lao of North East Thailand. South East Asia Research, 20(3), 329-341.

Lertcharnrit, T., & Niyomsap, N. (2020). Heritage Management, Education, and Community Involvement in Thailand: A Central Thai Community Case. Journal of Community Archaeology & Heritage, 7(3), 187-197. https://doi.org/10.1080/20518196.2020.1767378

Makpa, P. (2017). Creative Dancing Arts and Promotion of Cultural Identity of the Thai Puan People in Ban Bung Khe, Nong Saeng Sub-district, Pakplee District, Nakhon Nayok Province. Institute of Culture and Arts Journal, 19(1), 72-81.

McCargo, D., & Hongladarom, K. (2004). Contesting Isan-ness: Discourse and Politics in the Northeast of Thailand. Asian Ethnicity, 5(2), 219–234.

Panin, O. (2010). First Year Progress Report of Holistic Study for the Adaptability in the Different Context of Tai-Lao Ethnic in the Central Region Basin of Thailand. Bangkok: Kasetsart University, Thailand Research Fund and Office of the Higher Education Commission.

Panupat, C., Gulthawatvichai, T., & Karnjanakit, S. (2019). Development Guideline for Cultural Tourism of Thai Ethnic Group: A Case of Thai-Puan Community. PSAKU International Journal of Interdisciplinary Research, 8(1), 234-242.

Phobphison, P.-U., & Theerapappisit, P. (2018). Interpreting Cultural Heritage for Non-Thai Visitors in the Hat Siao Community, Sukhothai Province, Thailand (Ph.D. thesis), Silpakorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.

Prompayuk, S., & Chairattananon, P. (2016). Preservation of Cultural Heritage Community: Cases of Thailand and Developed Countries. Procedia-Social and Behavioural Sciences, 234(1), 239-243.

Sangchumnong, A, & Kozak, M. (2018). Sustainable Cultural Heritage Tourism at Ban Wangka Village, Thailand. Anatolia, 29(2), 183-193.

Sattayakorn, S. (2012). Space as a Place for Social Interaction: A Case Study of Tai-Lao Communities. Journal of Architectural/Planning Research and Studies (JARS), 9(1), 13-26.

Sermcheep, S. (2012). Thailand's Inclusive Growth and Regional Economic Cooperation. East Asian Policy, 4(4), 46-55.

Singsawat, P. (2017). A Comparative Study of Phonology and Lexical Words of Phuan in Nong Khai and Udon Thani, Thailand. Chophayom Journal, 28(3), 80-87.

Sirasoonthorn, P., Satean, G., Khamunee, W., & Pirasan, J. (2016). A Development of the Logistic Creative Community Economy for the Promotion of Participatory Cultural Tourism: A Case of Cultural World Heritage, Thailand. Journal of Community Development Research (Humanities and Social Sciences), 9(3), 10-20.

Taylor, J. (2001). Authenticity and Sincerity in Tourism. Annals of Tourism Research, 28(1), 7-26.

Tumad, S., & Siriwong, P. (2017). The Life Narrative: Cultural Resource Management of the Thai-Puan Ethnic Group. Institute of Culture and Arts Journal, 20(2), 100-115.

van der Duim, R., Peters, K., & Wearing, S. (2005). Planning Host and Guest Interactions: Moving Beyond the Empty Meeting Ground in African Encounters. Current Issues in Tourism, 8(4), 286-305

van Roy, E. (2009). Under Duress: Lao War Captives in Bangkok in the Nineteenth Century. The Journal of the Siam Society, 97(1), 43-68.

van Roy, E. (2018). Siamese Melting Pot. Bangkok: Flipside Digital Content Company.

Vichiranon, S., Sangoupong, W., Suthapannakul, R., & Wangvanitchaphan, S. (2013). Being Phuan in Contemporary Society. Phra Nakhon: Rajamangala University of Technology.

Wittayapak, C. (2003, February 6-9). History, Identity, and Resource Struggles of the Ethnic Enclaves in Modern Thailand. Paper presented at the CRN Meeting ACLS Offices, New York, United States. Retrieved December 20, 2020, from http://archives.acls.org/programs/crn/network/meetings_nyc_wittayapak.htm

Wongpolganan, J. (2007). Mon Nationalism and the Invention of Traditions: The Case of the Mons in Their Diasporic Communities. Manusya: Journal of Humanities, 10(1), 50-71.

Yokanya, N. (2018). A Model Development of the Learning Society of Sustainable Language and Cultural Diversity in Phetchabun Province. Rommayasarn, 16(Special Issue), 159-182.