Isan region is a land that has a wide territory. Have a close relationship with countries in the Mekong community. The population of this region is multicultural. With the main Tai-Lao culture group and subcultural groups that differ according to the original local conditions. The ethnic groups in this region can be divided into two language families: the Tai-Kadai group, which consists of the Tai-Lao, Tai Korat cultural group, and the Mon-Khmer Austro Asiatic group, which consists of the Khmer group of Thai Kui Bru.
In addition to being a vast land that has continued social development since the past. Contact travel between different tribal groups that makes Isaan not an isolated land, high area, plains on the mainland and the coast It is an element that leads to widespread contact with each other. Tai-Kadai people are the main people in the region. At the same time, there are also other ethnic groups such as the Austro-Asiatic. Mon Khmer branch is scattered throughout this region, a continuous mix of cultures and social development, makes various groups of people create a unique civilization that has become a region’s culture.
Ethnic groups in Isaan are divided according to two language families.
Austro-Asiatic language family (Mon-Khmer branch)
1. Khmer-Thai Local
Khmer people in Thailand, an ethnic group of Austro-Asiatic languages, Mon-Khmer branch. Calling himself “Khmer – Lu”, which is converted to Khmer high, but called Khmer in Cambodia as “Khmer-Krom” means Khmer low. There are domiciled domiciles in Surin, Si Sa Ket and some districts in Buriram Province such as Prakhon Chai District, Satuk District, Kasang District and Suvarnabhumi District. In Roi Et Province The Khmer people in Thailand are Buddhist and is very difficult to believe in spirits. There is a sacrifice of spirits called the “Sando Tta” ceremony. In addition, there is also a belief in the grandmother ordered. There are important local games as well, the singing of sings and dances, etc. Dress Code, The men’s dress has a sarong and Jong Kraben pants, wear a round neck shirt with a loincloth, which is called in the Khmer language as “Sabai”, in which the Khmer people are very skilled in weaving silk and short haircuts. As for women, they are soft, silk and cotton, called “Sampod”. There are many patterns, such as dark red with black and white lines contrasting, wear a sleeveless shirt with a round neckline, button-up closure, draped with ruffles for important occasions and leaves long hair without ponytail.
Thai people generally call Kui or Kuay as “Suay”, an ethnic group of the Mon-Khmer branch of the Austro-Asiatic language. The Kui people have the ability to raise elephants and training them for use. Therefore, there are many rituals and beliefs in relation to elephants, such as making spirits which must be done before leaving the forest for a well-being. At present, Kui people live in Surin Province, Sisaket Province, some districts in Buriram Province such as Satuk District, Kasang District, Nong Ki District in Ban Sadao District. Phayakkhaphum Phisai District Mahasarakham Province and some in Det Udom district Ubon Ratchathani Province
Traditional dress of Kui people’d like to wear a sarong or a Jong Kraben, wear a sarong cloth around a “plait bag” made of Khit cloth for wearing an amulet when entering the forest.
The Kui women wear soft sarong, both woven in Khit pattern, similar to Thai Lao or with mudmee pattern similar to the Khmer people in Thailand. Older women often wear beaded necklaces made of plastic or silver and instead wear fragrant flowers instead of earrings.
3. So or Kraso
The S or Kraso is a group of the Austro-Asiatic language family, the Mon-Khmer branch. It is assumed that the Chain people have settled in the Tan area then moved to Mahachang Kongkaew, Muang Bok and Muang Wua before settling into permanent settlements in the Isan region. Nowadays, So people practice Buddhism and worship ghosts at the same time. In particular, the ancestral spirits have an important annual “Sot Tang Ban” or ancestor worshiping ceremony in order to send the spirits of the dead.
The So people have the same dress as the Thai Isan people in general but in the past, men wear soft loincloth, while So people who had studied occultism often had a rosary around their neck. In addition, it is popular to tattoo the leg pattern from above the knee up to the thigh. As for women, it is popular to wear a black mullet sleeve with red accents. Cut the chest with a round silver button. The hem of the shirt on both sides of the shirt using red thread to decorate the edges, wear mudmee cloth, cotton or silk blanket over. Traditionally, women prefer to tattoo rice or flower patterns on waist as well. In the past, “So Tang Bang” is an annual ritual to pay homage to the ancestor spirit but now it has changed to a kind of play. In the ceremony there will sing together. Women dance to the rhythm. Later instruments such as drums and cymbals were added.
The Blues or Bru are an ethnic group of Austro-Asiatic languages. The Mon-Khmer branch lives in the mountainous forests along the Mekong River in both Laos and Thailand. When the French ruled The left bank of the Mekong River Since 1893, These indigenous peoples have been persecuted and therefore migrated from the Mekong River to the Mekong on the Thai side, such as at Ban Wen Buk. Ban Talong and Ban Hin Khok Khong Chiam District Ubon Ratchathani Province The Bruites believed in reverence of spirits, as evidenced by the house spirit tradition and the cultivation of Liang Phi Dong that is strictly performed every year.
Dress code, the Bru people do not weave their own cloth But buy from other people, so the dress is similar to the general Isan people
5. Jahkur or Bon
The Jahkur or Dong people are an ethnic group of Austro-Asiatic languages. Settled along the hillside or in the low hills in Chaiyaphum, Nakhon Ratchasima and Phetchabun provinces. Originally, Bon people lived only in their own groups and did not like to associate with other groups. Houses are often planted with millions of houses, tied to those of the Isan people in general. But unique in the part called “Katobmyo” which is a bundle of dried grass, tied into three loops, tied together in a round head, leaving a long tuff of tails tied on the gables of the house. Nowadays, the people of Jahkur practicing Buddhism along with spiritism.
Dress Code, in the past, men usually wear Thai-style pants or Khmer-style Jong Kraben without a shirt. Women wear bright colors such as red, dark red or dark blue, rectangular fabric wrapped around the body, wear a navy blue shirt or black sleeveless shirt, embroidered with a hem around the sleeves and around the neck, in red or another color. The back neckline is usually square in shape, leaving about 3-4 long strands of thread left behind, which will: only put on the ceremony currently, only the upper middle-aged women are still clothed in cloth and costume.
In the past, women and men used to pierce the ears into a wide hole, use a round helix to insert the ear hole, and then put a mirror to fill the hole. To make it sparkle Dressing like this is often used to dress up for merit-making. In the night, men and women will sit in a circle to play an interactive song called Pare Rae, or known in Thai as Kra Jae. Use the drum tones or “Tabor” to give the rhythm during the festival, the songs will be driven in every house. Much of the songs’ content is about loneliness, loneliness, widow, or natural melodies.
Tai-Kadai language family
6. Tai Korat
Korat people belong to the Tai-Kadai language family ethnic group. The Tai branch found that there have been settlements in Nakhon Ratchasima Province since prehistoric times. The Dvaravati period until the Ayutthaya and Rattanakosin periods were influenced by central Thai culture and also incorporated into the Khmer and Thai-Lao cultures. Tai Korat is unique in both spoken language, food, and play especially Korat music. Tai Korat people settled in various provinces such as Pak Thong Chai district. Huai Thalaeng District, Khraburi District, Nong Bunnak District Dan Khun Thot District In Buriram Province Such as the Nang Rong district Lahan Sai District, Nong Ki District, Mueang District, Lam Plai Mat District and Chaiyaphum Province Bamnet Narong District
Dress Code: Thai Korat people often dress in Thai style in the central region, namely men wearing Jong Kraben, wearing a round neck shirt, not through the breasts, and soft female as well as wear Jong Kraben cloth. Not popular to wear a sarong and a sleeveless shirt. If at home, usually use the khadok cloth. The main play is “Korat Song”, which is characterized by “Patiparj”, or the courtship between a man and a woman. There are no musical instruments. The singer had to clap his hands for the rhythm. As for music, Korat people are popular with Pi Phat bands, not like Kan bands. An important performance of Tai Korat people is Likay.
Thai, Lao or Isan people belong to the Tai-Kadai language family. And has a higher culture than other groups Speaks Thai Lao (Isan language) with less Thai characters and Thai characters Thai-Lao people receive Mekong culture. It can be said that it is a group of Isan cultural leaders and social wisdom such as Heet Kong, legend of arts passed on to other groups of villagers as well.
Dress code: Tai Lao people dress like the general Tai-Isan groups When at home, men wear a sarong with kaoma across the neck and do not wear a shirt. When going out of the house, wearing short pants and short sleeves. As for women wear Sin, Mudmee, silk or cotton. The Thai-Lao people have many forms of musical development, such as Mo Lam, Serng, with an important composition of Kan and other musical instruments such as cymbals. Ponglang which is commonly used in conjunction with other musical instruments as well.
Taiyoy people belong to the Tai-Kadai language family. Most of them immigrated from the city of Homtao, Champasak Province, Laos, around 2373 B.E., has settled in the district of Akatthanuen and Wanon Niwat, Sakon Nakhon Province and nearby areas. The Taiyoy people have a belief in the folklore called “Heat Sipsong”, which is the principle of general traditions in Isan (Thai-Lao) area. It is a ghost who keeps their children safe from various dangers.
The Thai dress code is closely related to the Taiyo and Tai Lao ethnic groups. The general Taiyo culture of dress is in harmony with the Thai Lao people and uses indigo-dyed cotton in their dress.
The Taiyou people belong to the Tai-Kadai language family. Most of them live in the city, Sakon Nakhon and Nakhon Phanom provinces. Speaks like a native Tai-Isan people in general but some words have incorrect pronunciation. Have yellow, white skin more than black. Originally, men had hair, general hairstyles. As for women, they have long hair. The main occupation is farming, trading, and some skilled in needlework, weaving mats using reeds. Tai Yoi people are religious in Buddhism as for the belief in spirits. For this reason, it plays a role in the Prasat Phueng merit ceremony which is held during the end of Buddhist Lent and is considered an important tradition of Sakon Nakhon Province and the Sueng Phi Khon Festival, Ban Hai Yong, Mueang District, Sakon Nakhon Province.
The male dress is favorable, the decorations sent from Vietnam are made of cotton and silk. A shirt with a chest slit Long and wide arms, wear loincloth as for the basic men, it is popular to wear a shirt woven in black fabric called “wing shirt” like a farm shirt. Woman wear Sin Mee and has the same concept of “Tantoh” of the Phutai people but smaller band. Not popular with dark indigo.
The people of Kaleng is an ethnic group in the Tai-Kadai family with the original residence in Suwan Khet, Khammouane Province, Laos. Immigrated to Isaan at the same distance as other Sakon Nakhon people who believed in ghost rituals and raising spirits. Sakon Nakhon Province and some parts in Nakhon Phanom Province Mukdahan and nearby.
Dress code in the past, men wear sarongs, leaving them short and half-shins. Wearing a sleeveless shirt, no chest, combed hair, a red plate, and a bird tattoo on the cheek. At present, the dress of the Kaleng people is similar to that of the Thai Isan people.
The Puan people are the people of Chiang Khong immigrated to settle in both the central and northeastern regions of Thailand. It is a group that has a purely appearance. They has their own language, culture and traditions. Tai Puan people practice Buddhism. Therefore, often built temples near the community. In addition, Yong has beliefs about spirits in rituals. Especially the Kam Fa tradition, which is held on the 3rd lunar month of the third month of every year, the Puan people make Khao Chi to give to the monks at the temple and the practice is not to curse or fight. If they don’t act, they will be punished by the heavens.
The dress women wear a skirt according to fashion. Older women tend to prefer “E-pao” shirts (cardigan). Women tend to have long hair in the back. Sometimes, use a chest wrap instead of wearing a shirt and Tin Jok or solid color pattern interleaved with some local cross-stitch patterns. Men usually wear black short pants and black shirts.
The unique performance of the Puan people is the Lam Puan. The performer will sit on the ground and the music that composes the Lam is Kan. Mo Kan will sit face to face to find people. The melody of Mo Lampuan is like chanting, each paragraph consists of a pattern of up and down melodies and courtship.
Phutai belongs to the Tai-Kadai language family. At present, they have settled in a group mixed with the Lao ethnic group in the provinces of Nakhon Phanom, Kalasin, Mukdahan, Sakon Nakhon and parts of Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani, Ban Pa Nad, Loei Province. It is a group that has kept their culture well especially at Renu Nakhon District, Nakhon Phanom Province with a unique Phutai dance. There is also a Buddhism by adapting to their customs Including respect for spirits at the same time.
Dress code: Men wear black half-calf shorts or checkered sarongs, long sleeves to the wrists or short half sleeves with sash and headband. Old men often tattooed their arms, legs, in patterns with black ink. Red is considered beautiful and so invincible.
The women prefer to wear sarong made of cotton, stitched with a longitudinal stripe, wearing long sleeves, cylindrical, set neck, jewelry, bracelets, ankles, neck wear, rosary, oblique necklace, Sangwan, hairpins, earrings. Shirt buttons are all made of gold.
13. Tai Saek
Tai Saek people belong to the Tai-Kadai language family with the original settlers in the city of Saek , Laos, adjacent to the Vietnamese border across the Mekong River to settle in Thailand, especially at Ban At Samat, Nakhon Phanom and nearby provinces In the Ayutthaya period. The general characteristics are similar to the Lao group, buddhist and have faith in spirits. There is a tradition of playing “Sak Ton Sak” to pay homage to the spirit of the Moo God. In addition, there is also a tradition based on heat sibsong like the Isan people in general.
Dress: The men wear pants, short sleeves in black, indigo-dyed cotton and sun turban.
Most of the women wear a sarong, indigo-dyed cotton shirts, white, black, long cylinder sleeves. At present, the Thai Saek people dress are similar to those of Isan people in general.