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The Unexpected Feeling Episode 6: The Colorful Shades of Lanna

 The dazzling sight of colourful Lanna-style umbrellas right at the centre of Bo Sang Village in San Kamphaeng district of Chiang Mai indicates that the craft of umbrella making has long coexisted with this community.  Located in an area rich in natural resources, this village offers abundant natural materials for its residents to use in making their umbrellas.  For this reason, Bo Sang has become Thailand’s largest umbrella making community.

            Bo Sang umbrella craftsmen pay close attention to every step of production, starting with the making of the notch, the runner and the ribs using bamboo from the community forest.  But what makes Bo Sang umbrella making spectacular is the meticulous process of building the umbrella frames.  The traditional method of fastening the stretchers to the runner at one end and to the ribs at the other is a rare demonstration of folk wisdom.  Similarly, the processes of painting folk motifs on the umbrella canopies and overlaying them with mulberry pulp paper using a mixture of starch glue and ebony extract never fails to fascinate visitors.  This body of knowledge has been preserved for over 100 years.  More recently, the Bo Sang handicraft articles have won the UNESCO’s Seal of Excellence in the Southeast Asia Award in the Eco-Friendly Product Category for two consecutive years.

Location: Bo Sang Umbrella Village, Chiang Mai, Thailand. 

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