Manusya, Journal of Humanities

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This paper studies the symbolism of the objects and behaviors in the "Chaomae Song Nang" ritual held in Mueang District, Mukdahan Province, so as to elucidate the meaning of the symbols in relation to the legend of the Chaomae Song Nang as the ancestors of the Mukdahan people. Chaomae Song Nang are the spirits of the daughters of the former ruler of Khanthaburi in Laos. Together with their followers, they are the subject of a ritual held annually in Mukdahan City. It is believed that the Chaomae Song Nang spirits come each year to eliminate the suffering and troubles of their descendants. This ritual is full of symbolism, which can be observed in the arrangement of the ritual space in the objects that serve as offerings and the placement of said objects, and in the garments and actions of the spirit mediums. Sub-rituals comprising parts of the Chaomae Song Nang ritual are the annual weather forecast, the ritual for the elimination of suffering and troubles, and the floating of bad luck. These sub-rituals are held to bring happiness to the city and to give heart to the spirits' descendants. Consequently, the rituals related to the Chaomae Song Nang have been handed down for generations and persist in contemporary society.

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