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Tung and Taleo

Tung in Chiang MaiTung in Chiang MaiTung are a northern style of pennant hung from bamboo poles. They are used as offerings to Buddha images and the deceased, as well as for decorating and blessing ceremonies. The common significance of Tung is to avert ill and secure good fortune. Their overall shape and the material from which they are made vary according to purpose.

Tung may be made of a succession of web-like forms made of threads woven round cross-shaped frames, or from single long pieces of cloth. Bamboo strips woven horizontally represent steps guiding the deceased to heaven. The longer the rung are, the more beneficial they are thought to be.

Taleo are much less common. Made from plaited strips of bamboo to form five or seven points, they serve as a charm against evil spirits. They are placed near entrances to houses where poeple died recently to prevent entry by the spirit of the dead. Similar plaited shapes may be seen in rice fields protecting offerings to Mae Phosop, the goddess of rice, during the growing season.

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