of exchange in pre-history period.
The Bank of Thailand (BoT), on behalf of central bank, is the most important
money institute in the country, due to the fact that it plays the primary
role of balancing the currency supply and takes care of the security of the
Thai baht. Developing countries have more responsibilities because they have
to make their monetary system efficient; and to reach international
standards in line with the economic growth of the country.
Besides the financial system, BoT plays another important role in that it is
an organization which supports art and culture having established the Bank
of Thailand Museum at the head office. The Northern branch of BoT now
disseminates knowledge about money and Thai clothes to the general public,
who might wish to learn all about the country’s precious cultural
heritage. In earlier times, people used barter to exchange goods and
services, such as exchanging a stone axe for rice or meat. Later they used
precious things needed by both parties to exchange, such as shells, rice,
livestock, small beads, bronze axes, arrow-heads and agricultural equipment.
Precious metals, such as bronze, silver and gold were used for a while, but
these were hard to find and went out of use as a medium of exchange. In the
past, when governors travelled into a foreign country, they used their own
symbol to stamp on silver to pay for bills, so this was the beginning of
money used during Buddhist Laity Century 6-12.
Not only does the museum show the history of money, but
it also displays examples of the currency of different periods and the
coinage of each kingdom that has rarely been seen anywhere else; such as
Suvanabhumi money, Funan money, Srisaket money, Dharavadhi money, Sriwichai
money, Lanna money and of course, modern money are all displayed in the
Thai clothes of Pha Thai, an important form of dress expressing the simple
lifestyle of Thai people, and the Thai local economy, from early times until
now, are also displayed there. Textiles in the Thai style stress the use of
different types of cloth for different occasions, such as the textiles used
in a wedding dress; and that used to present to monks and elders. The
beliefs and faith of the Thai people were able to preserve the quality of
the materials that in turn supported the economy of the local area. In the
past, collecting textiles was equivalent to saving money in present times,
and textile clothing was sold or exchanged. Any family, who earned their
living by farming, could augment their income considerably if the women in
that family were good at making textiles and clothes.
money used during Buddhist Laity Century 12-16.
These days, making textiles is still an important
occupation of many Thai people, who use this craft as a means of making
money for their families. Samples of weaving are on show in the museum, Pha
Khid, Pha Jok, Pha Yok Din and Pha Mad Mee including descriptions of how to
make these different types of cloth; and the origin and importance of the
craft to the individuals who made them. There are also models of Thai people
dressed in period costume, examples of art on different clothes and the
modes of dress worn by people in neighboring countries, as well as the
evolution of Thai women’s dresses.
The museum is now open to the general public from Monday to Friday between 9
a.m. – 12 noon and 1– 4 p.m.; but closed on Saturday, Sunday and
holidays. For more information call 053-931182-3.
used as money in the first period of the Lanna Kingdom.
cotton thread making in the past.
money (first money of the world).
Chin people’s dresses.
Phidan, cloth of Cambodia.
of Thai women’s dress of each Royal period.