Late for Buddha: the construction of Dara’ang (Silver Palaung) religious and ethnic identity

Date created: 
2011-05-09
Identifier: 
etd6645
Keywords: 
Buddhism, Southeast Asia, Thailand, Dara’ang, Palaung
Abstract: 

This dissertation examines how Theravāda Buddhism affects the construction of cultural identity amongst the Dara’ang, a highland ethnic minority group who practice a form of Buddhism associated with the old Tai Yuan kingdom of Lan Na. This particular form of Buddhism has waned in northern Thailand in response to the extension of Siamese or Central Thai hegemony, yet movements led by charismatic khruba monks attempt to revitalize these practices amongst the northern population, including the Dara’ang. This study analyzes how Dara’ang men and women draw upon their religious practices and beliefs, as well as the religious discourse of khruba monks, to construct a distinct Dara’ang identity, one that emphasizes a cultural affinity with the Tai people, while simultaneously resisting cultural assimilation and challenging the dominant representation of the group as an alien other within 'Thai'-land.

Document type: 
Thesis
Rights: 
Copyright remains with the author. The author granted permission for the file to be printed and for the text to be copied and pasted.
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Michael Howard
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.
Statistics: