Lao Khrang, Preservers of Art and Culture
Lao Khrang, Preservers and Perpetuators of Art, Culture, Tradition, and Religion
Residents of the Lao Khrang Kut Chok Community tell a story about themselves as descendents of ethnic Lao people who lived in the north of present day Lao People’s Democratic Republic. This area was full of rain trees in which a lot of khrang, lac insects, built their nests. These insects suck syrup from inside the trees to produce a thick, hard scarlet secretion known as sticklac. This has numerous uses: such as, in dyeing clothes, silk, and animal hide, and as an ingredient in herbal medicines. The residents believe that the name Lao Khrang comes from the insects.
The ancestors of the Lao Khrang Kut Chok residents settled at Ban Khao Krachio, Ban Song Sub-district, U Thong District in Suphan Buri province, but the land was drought-stricken and farming was impossible. They decided to move on to a new location and came across their current site in Kut Chok Sub-district, Nong Mamong District in Chai Nat province. They found the ruins of an ancient temple and a marsh or kut covered with water lettuce called chok. They settled by the marsh, as it served their agricultural lifestyle well and named their new home Ban Kut Chok. The Lao Khrang Kut Chok Community is strong in the preservation of its customs, traditions, and culture in speech, dress, music, cuisine, and various festivals. The residents have developed the community as a cultural destination and earned the Award of Outstanding Performance in the Tourist Attractions category at the Thailand Tourism Awards 2013 from the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).