Thailand Diary

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mad in pursuit 5.23.90

National museum:

Tusk carvings: intricate rows of Buddhas, vines and leaves.

Chintzes: some look printed, others batiked.

Traditional architecture: walls, windows slant toward center (for stability, air circulation). Therefore furniture also slanted. Raised thresholds: stability, keep evil spirits out, gods live on threshold.

Museum: sweltering, badly labeled. Cases labeled "divinities... provenance unknown."

Beads (like Tak beads bought at Boorisoothi): Dvarivati 7-9th c. A.D. Tan stone. Also what looks like the shaped/faceted gilded stones.

River City:

Beads like those claimed as Yao hilltribe -- Mon Dvarivati -- central Thailand 8-9 c. 3000 baht per strand. But at Golden Triangle, exact necklace said to be Burmese Karen.

River City is for rich folks -- air conditioned, everything top dollar, though not necessarily top flight. Overwhelming number of antiques (Buddhas!) as well as clear reproductions, with some repros passing for antiques.