Chiang Mai’s Intangible Cultural Heritage: Urban Revitalization and Cultural Identity in a Northern Thai City

Authors

  • Alexandra Denes Affiliated Researcher, Women’s Studies Program, Chiang Mai University, Thailand
  • Ajirapa Pradit Faculty of Arts and Architecture, Rajamangala University of Technology Lanna, Thailand

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.14456/jucr.2022.17

Keywords:

Chiang Mai; Intangible Cultural Heritage Revitalization; Urban Identity; Urban Resilience; Urban Sustainability; Ritual; Thailand

Abstract

Founded in 1296 CE, the walled city of Chiang Mai, Thailand was once the capital of the Lanna kingdom. In the sixteenth century, Chiang Mai’s fortunes waned, and it became a tributary state under the Burmese. This was followed by its incorporation into the Thai nation-state in the twentieth century. One outcome of Chiang Mai’s administrative integration into the Thai nation was the erosion of its distinctive cultural identity. Beginning in the 1980s, key local figures began to collaborate with communities and academic institutions to revitalize Chiang Mai’s intangible cultural heritage, including its craft traditions, rituals, textiles, and dance performances. After tracing a brief history of Chiang Mai and the Lanna revitalization movement, this article analyzes two rituals – the Candle Lighting ritual and the Yor Suai Wai Sa Phraya Mangrai ritual – to illustrate how community-based organizations in Chiang Mai have worked together to restore the city’s spirit of place, contributing to its resilience and sustainability.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Downloads

Published

2022-12-20 — Updated on 2023-01-13

Versions

How to Cite

Denes, Alexandra, and Ajirapa Pradit. (2022) 2023. “Chiang Mai’s Intangible Cultural Heritage: Urban Revitalization and Cultural Identity in a Northern Thai City”. Journal of Urban Culture Research 25 (January):3-17. https://doi.org/10.14456/jucr.2022.17.

Issue

Section

Special Feature