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Gruesome offering for pig-headed spirits

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PRACHUAP KHIRI KHAN: Villagers tried an usual rain-making method last week after two years of drought ruined their coconut harvests.

Instead of appealing for the cloud-seeding techniques famous across the land, they instead decided what was needed was an offering of 249 severed pig heads to the spirits of the land.

Despite parts of the country experiencing the worst floods in decades, there has been very little rain in Tap Sakae district for two years, leaving the villagers’ coconut trees almost barren of fruit.

It has also been very hot, attracting various kinds of insects that eat what coconuts the trees do produce.

Many of the trees are dying and even though the price of coconuts has reached around 25 baht each, the villagers have none to sell.

But local people think they know what caused their misfortune.

Around two years ago, contractors built a bridge over nearby Khao Laan Canal. The builders made an offering to the guardian spirits of the area, and asked that there be no rain while they built the bridge.

When they finished, the contractors forgot to redeem their vow, and there has been drought ever since.

On December 4, villagers placed 249 severed pig heads on the bridge and held a ceremony to annul the contractors’ request.

In attendance were Wanit Pakkingmueang, president of the National Coconut Association of Thailand, and Tap Sakae District Chief Rutprateep Thampheepat.

The villagers invited all the guardian spirits of the land, including the canal spirit, the marsh spirit, the swamp spirit, the mountain spirit, the port spirit and Mother Earth herself to enjoy a banquet at the bridge.

In return, they asked the spirits to let it rain naturally again and to banish the insects that were eating the coconuts.

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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