March 9, 2015

Thai Buddhist Amulets

Have faith


The title of this post could be Sunday Shopping at the Swap Meet, but would that be as interesting?The good news though? Either way - the title is accurate.

Thai religious amulets: Phra Pitta

I like religious amulets, talismans, and good luck charms of all kinds.  They fascinate me. I want to believe that they can bring me protection or good fortune.

I also like the imagery and enjoy the hunt to figure out what they mean and how they are used. But mostly, it's the magic I'm looking for.

Yesterday, I happened on a man with a good sized box of amulets from a Thai temple.  There was nothing nice about their display, or how they were stored - just a plastic storage bin with a layer of stone amulets that I decided looked interesting enough to pick through.  Isn't that the perfect way to find something incredibly valuable at the swap meet *? 

* For the non-Californians among you - the swap meet is the same as a flea market, cousin to the rummage sale or block sale, and the outdoor version of the thrift store.


A collection of Thai Buddhist amulets

After I picked out a bunch, I was a little disappointed that he gave me a price that was close to $1 each, but I've spent $20 on a lot less interesting things before.  And so it went - and here they are.  

He claimed they cost $80 each and up (way up!) at the temple - to which I reminded him I wasn't at the temple, and I they didn't have any religious significance to me and I still thought $1 each was a lot.  Obviously, I'm not great at bargaining though, cause he stood his ground and I paid the $20. 

Thai Buddhist amulets

For now I'll add them to my hoard collection of miscellaneous jewelry supplies to be used someday. I'm thinking of doing a tutorial on how to use wire to wrap the edge so they can be made into a pendant, but I'm not entirely sure I've figured it out myself. 

I've started looking up the various figures to understand what they are.

Thai religious amulets: Phra Pitta
These lovelies are Phra Pitta, which are meant to protect you from evil and turn around your fortune.  They're apparently a favorite among teens.  I liked the one with the big belly on the left, but aside from that, these were not among my favorites.  They remind me of someone who is hiding from what's going on - which seemed negative, but I picked up a few anyway.

Thai Buddhist amulets

I don't know much about these ones yet - but I like the variety of materials.  

Thai Buddhist amulets

I also like the elongated shape of these and the details. They seem authentically Buddhist and Thai. 

Thai Buddhist amulets

Many of the amulets are decorated on the front and back.  For example, the black one with the bird has the Phra Soomdej image on the front like the amulet on the left. 

Thai Buddhist amulets

As you can tell, the condition of these varies greatly - from rustic and worn.

Thai Buddhist amulets

To slightly more detailed.

Thai Buddhist amulets

And some that are highly detailed.  I think these are pretty modern and probably made a type of plaster so they are sometimes encased in a bezel to keep them from chipping.  I wish I had purchased more in the bezel, but the plastic was hard to see through.

That's my whole collection.  And the weird thing is that I wish I had purchased more - even though I have no idea what to do with them or what they mean. I just enjoy looking at them.

I hope you found them interesting too.  If you have any information on them - or a resource you can suggest, please let me know. 

I'll bet you didn't know


This is the part of my post where I always tell you about my social media or other websites - and I'll bet you didn't know that my fascination with religious jewelry objects even inspired me to start a website blog called beads of devotion.  

It didn't inspire me to make more than one post, but I still own the domain, and you never know - it may be something that I get the bug to write about more in the future.

Until then - you should consider following one of my websites that is being updated - like this one!

Or maybe my Pinterest boards - like this one on religious tokens.  Another quick note - I have a particular fascination for relics - religious ornaments that contain some physical part of a saint like their teeth, hair or bones. I mention that because I have some of those on my Pinterest board. They have a lot of relics in European cathedrals and they are often ornately decorated with jewels and gold.

9 comments:

  1. Lisa, I really enjoy your blog. I used to follow you on CWJ :( gone now... Do you ever come to the gem show here in Pasadena? Deb

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    1. Hi Deb, Yes - I miss CWJ too. I never remember when the Pasadena show is, otherwise I would definitely go. Sometimes I go to the one in Santa Monica, but I haven't been there in a long time either. If you plan to go to either - send me an email and we could try to meet there.

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    2. Yes I will do that Lisa. The Pasadena Bead & Design show is in July I believe. And Santa Monica show has moved to LA Convention Center and Pasadena Convention Center. I will keep you posted.
      Deb

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  2. Wow, why do I not find such beautiful things at swap meets :)

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    1. I've been really lucky lately - our swap meet has had a lot of jewelry and craft goodies lately!

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  3. Thanks for sharing these amulets with us. I didn't know about them and found a lot of information on the web. And your prices seem to be a bargain!

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  4. Hello Lisa! I just wanted to say thank you for all the wonderful posts! You are truly creative and talented! I have been inspired by your designs and wanted to let you know how much I appreciate all your work! Thanks again, Teresa Dalton

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    1. Thank you Teresa - very sweet of you to say! I'm glad you enjoy my blog and projects.

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