CHULABHORN, NAKHON SI THAMMARAT, 24 April 2023 – The research team of the Kapor Leaf Conservation Project visited Thung Pho subdistrict to examine the local wisdom and way of life in crafting traditional handmade Kapor leaf hand fans. The Kapor Leaf Conservation Project is a sub-project of the Royal Plant Genetic Conservation Project under the Royal Initiation of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn (RSPG).
The research team found Mrs. Sanguan Pankaew, an 84-year-old folk wisdom teacher with over 50 years of experience in crafting traditional handmade Kapor leaf hand fans in Ban Suan Lao village, Chulabhorn district, Nakhon Si Thammarat Province. She has been passing on the knowledge of crafting the hand fans to her relatives as a side job and for preservation purposes.
The team also found that there were more than 20 Kapor leaf hand fan makers in the village. The Kapor leaf hand fans there underwent a process of production through the natural dyeing process, but some handicraftsmen used chemicals for dying the hand fans. They were supplied to customers throughout Thailand, both retail and wholesale. In Thai culture, the Kapor leaf hand fans are commonly used as souvenirs or gifts in ordination ceremonies or weddings.
Besides the exploration purpose, a video learning material on crafting the Kapor leaf hand fans was produced with a focus on preserving local wisdom and cultural sustainability.