The Medium: the Roles and Reflections on the Transmission of Folk Religion in Thai Film

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Pattaradhorn Sanpinit


The objective of this research is to reflect on the transmission of cultural information related to folk religion and to analyze the roles and functions of mediums in Thai film using a descriptive analytical research methodology. The results found four reflections: 1) reflections on animism being supernatural and present a greater influence than other major religions; 2) reflections on the space being matriarchal in which women play important roles and determine the patterns of beliefs and rituals in the family for the roles of shamans, statues, rituals, and ancestor spirit chanting; 3) reflections on behavior in a religious environment by analyzing characters; and 4) in the films reflections on Thai folk religion, you can see the roles of shamanism in the Thai community that is seen in three aspects: (1) the role of performing rituals and preserving superstitious beliefs; (2) the role in inheriting and preserving beliefs in the worship of ancestral spirits, worshiping sacred objects, mediums descent from ancestral spirits (Ya-ba-yan) and local gods which reflects the role of the needs of the family and inheriting ancestors’ intentions as an expression of gratitude; and (3) the mental dimension, which reflects spiritual refuge, including chanting, rituals, divination, and healing. Those play a role in healing the grievances of people in the community and to support morale. The films reflect Thai religion and synthesized beliefs and are a way of life for people and has become part of Thai folk religion identity.

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Sanpinit, P. (2023). The Medium: the Roles and Reflections on the Transmission of Folk Religion in Thai Film . Journal of Cultural Approach, 24(45), 57–75. Retrieved from
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