Molam music: From Subalternity’s Aesthetics becoming a World Music หมอลำ: จากสุนทรียศาสตร์แห่งการกดทับ สู่การเป็นดนตรีแห่งอัตลักษณ์

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Kammales Photikanit
Patcharin Sirasoonthorn
Watcharabon Buddharaksa


The main objective of this article is exhibited an interaction between Thai state’s hegemony by the traditional top-down approach policy implementation which affected to some people became the subalterns and the using of Molam music as major counter state hemenony’s mechanisms of subaltern group. The research found that Molam music became the otherness’s music with a historical entry point produced by Thai state. After the ill-fated revolt of Chao Anuwong (King of Vientiane) in 1826, Thai state (Siamese) signified the playing of Molam music (Eaw Lao Pao Khaen) was the prisoner of war music. During 1900-1903in the governance reformation of King Rama V (King Chulalongkorn), Molam musicbecame the resistance music against Siamese’s centralization policy by communicating the resistance faith and ideology among Phi Bun Rebels (holy man rebels) in the Northeastern of Thailand.During the 1980s and 1990s, Molam music adapted themselves to changed circumstances and became a cultural goods in the form of an applied Molam (Molam pra yook) or modern Molam (Molam pra sing). After the 2000s, Molam music became a world music by adapting themselves to various forms of modern and western music but the Thailand Northeastern’s identity remained under the competition in the capitalist globalization market.

This article aims to show challenges in the counter hegemony concept of Antonio Gramsci which focused on two major counter hemenony’s mechanisms, there were; an alliance and intellectuals. This article exhibits that ethnic music is one of such counter state hemenony’s mechanisms of subaltern which driven by the power of music expressing a subaltern’s way of life, faith and ideology.



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