Asia

Ban Chang Nak, Chiang Mai

Ban Chang Nak or Chang (จ๊าง) is a northern language that means “elephant”, and Nak (นัก) means “many”, therefore, Ban Chang Nak means “house of many elephants” Inside the house, there are elephants carved by a Sala (สล่า) which means “a very skilled craftsman”. Ban Chang Nak is home to wide variety of artists’ performance and local Thai Lanna craftsmen. Their masterpieces were expressed and created from magnificent imagination through meticulously wood carved elephants. Each elephant carving was elaborately carved into different gestures and expressions.

It’s really worth the visit to appreciate the beauty of such valuable artworks that the artists expressed amazingly into wood patterns as if they were real. Ban Chang Nak Museum is a place, where artworks of Sala Phet Wiriya, his friends, and disciples are exhibited. Elephants have been national animals of Lanna for ages and have close relationships with Sala Phet as well. More importantly, Sala Phet has produced a lot of elephant wood-carvings in many sizes and has developed the styles from time to time. Now, these elephants are carved in several gestures as if they were really alive. Ban Chang Nak is considered to be the first place that has this style of wood-carving. Apart from that, it is trying to find new local materials that can replace the existing rare materials.

It is found that Thai copper pod wood is very hard. Although it is more difficult to be carved than teak, its works, are however, more beautiful and their colors are more natural. Ebony that is used for dyeing clothes gives a natural color and does not contain residues that are harmful to human beings and the environment. All Salas at Ban Chang Nak are proud to be part of making people love Thai elephants, know their value and realize their importance nowadays. This can make people be conscious to preserve them to live with Thai people persistently. Predominantly, all of Salas are those who join in conserving the Lanna art and craft, so that we can perceive this art for a long time.

Categories: Asia, Travel

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