|Palm Leaf Fish Mobile |
Weavers of the palm leaf fish mobile, and other palm leaf products, in this province are Thai Muslims. The skills have been inherited for over 100 years. It is assumed that Thai Muslim spice traders who sailed their houseboats along the Chao Phraya River in the olden days were the first to have woven fish mobiles from palm leaf, out of inspiration from their affectionate bond with water and their surroundings, referring to a Thai barb with which they were familiar and using leaves from various species of palm grown locally. Originally, each woven fish mobile was not as colourful nor numerously composed as in the present, using only a mixture of natural pigment and varnish for the final touch. The fish mobile, mostly in red, is usually hung above a baby’s cradle so that Thai children are familiar with it since their babyhood.
There are some beliefs relating to the fish mobile. Thai people in ancient times regarded Thai barb as an auspicious fish that would help to attract wealth, so a palm leaf fish mobile would be hung in the corridor in front of the house. Some believed that by hanging the fish mobile that was numerously composed would help to enhance the growth as well as number of their children so that they would have plentiful supply of labour. It was also believed that, in hanging a fish mobile above the cradle, it should be hung at the right position easily visible for the baby, not toward the head nor the feet or else the baby would be disturbed by the guardian spirit. In fact, that would cause defective eyes.