Spirit figures help village keep out infection
published : 1 Apr 2020 at 13:26
writer: Assawin Pinitwong
TAK: Hmong people at a village in Phop Phra district have taken stringent precautions against catching Covid-19, including seeking help from divine spirits, which are represented by masked wooden figures.
The spirit figures have been placed on each side of the entrance road to Kao Ruam Thai Pattana village in tambon Ruam Thai Pattana of Phop Phra district.
Wathanyu Wongmeechok, 42, the village headman, said the entrance has been manned around the clock since March 22, screening people travelling in and out to halt the spread of the virus.
All people entering and leaving have their temperature checked and must wear a face mask.
He said the wooden figures at the entrance were carved from tree trunks and represent local divine spirits. They would help prevent evil from entering the village, and protect the people from danger. The figures were purified in a sacred ritual performed by the village elders before being put in place.
Wichit Amponrungroj, chairman of the Ruam Thai Pattana tambon administration organisation, said the village checkpoint had been supplied with a thermoscanner, rubber gloves, face masks and hand sanitising gel.
A wooden spirit figure, wearing a face mask, at the entrance to Kao Ruam Thai Pattana village in Tak. (Photo: Assawin Pinitwong)
The checkpoint at the entrance to Kao Ruam Thai Pattana village in Phop Phra district of Tak. All people entrering and leaving are screened for signs of Covid-19 infection. (Photo: Assawin Pinitwong)