Vernacular History in a Karen Community of Northern Thailand

Patawee Promsen (Naresuan University)

In this presentation I examine stories and storytelling among the Karen people of Huaitom Community, Lamphun Province, northern Thailand. I seek to understand how stories are used as a means by which the Karen construct their history and reclaim their identity in the modern Thai nation. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork conducted since 2014, I explore the narrative genre called talerpler and its characteristics and functions in this ethnic minority community. I contribute to work on local narrative as vernacular history, exploring an alternative version of history that benefits marginalized people in multiple ways.

Part of 01-07 Minority Peoples, Expressive Culture, and Heritage in—and from—the Southeast Asian Massif, Part 1, Thursday, November 02, 8:30 am–10:00 am