The History of Phumin Temple
Wat Phumin was built by the ruler of Nan, Phra Chao Jettabutrabhrama, in 1596. The province of Nan is located in the Northern part of Thailand and close to the Laos border. It used to be an independent kingdom during the Sukhothai era. However, when the Burmese King desired to expand his colonization, Sukhothai was under attack and Nan was annexed in Lanna. Despite being in Thailand, Nan province used to be under Burmese Rule. Also, During World War II Wat Phumin was published on a 1 Baht note of Siam money.
What so special about Wat Phumin temple is the wall painting ‘Whisper of Love’ (ภาพกระซิบรักบันลือโลก) well known as Pu Man Ya Man (ปู่ม่านย่าม่าน), in Thai translation is Grandpa Man and Grandma Man. It is a depiction of a man whispering to the ear of a woman. According to local tradition, a man must have tattoos from his belly down to his knees. On his chest, there are red tattoos of a human figure used to show his prestige and social power. Because, the more human figures he has, it means the more servants and slaves he owns. This iconic painting is a resounding symbol of Nan City. And, The artist of the wall painting is Nanbuaphan (หนานบัวผัน).
Because of the unique design of Lanna architectures and arts, Wat Phumin has become one of the most interesting temples in Thailand. It is a home of famous 19th century ancient wall murals in Tai Lue style (Tai Lue is people whose ancestral homeland is Xishuangbanna district of Yunnan Province in China), depicting from Buddhist legends of Lord Buddha, local ways of life, nattive attires, weaving and commerce with foreign countries to scenes of courtship.
The beautiful wall murals were created during the major restoration in 1867, during the reign of Chao Ananta Vora Ritthi Det. The wall mural depictions are more secular scenes of village life, making it very distinctive than other temples. The wall paintings not only have a great artistic visual art but also have a historical value. The temple itself has long been for over 420 years, while the wall paintings have been more than 150 years.
The Stories Behind The Paintings
In ancient times, the common places for young people to meet for dating or courtship was at boat dock, river’s harbour, or market. If a man is interested in a woman, he will ask her to light a cigarette. If the woman is interested in him, she will offer to light his.
Mona Lisa Thailand
Another famous painting is the Mona Lisa of Nan. She is the most beautiful woman in ancient Nan city. Her name is Kaew Si Wai (นางแก้วสีไว). On the mural, the artist depicted her in the moment that she just finished taking a bath and about to wear her hair in a bun. There is a flower attached in her hair, because it is a symbol that if she dies, she can take the flower to worship the Lord Buddha in Daowa Duong Heaven. She also pierced her ears in order to insert a roll of gold sheet that engraved her name and date of birth as an ID card of the modern days.
Noble Woman Painting
Nanbuaphan painted a painting of a Noble lady, her name is Sida. She wears a traditional handwoven Sinh, a wrap-around skirt. She is smoking a cigarette (บุหรี่ขี้โย), and the smoke from the tobacco can keep away mosquitos and harmful insects.
Noble Man Painting
The artist also painted a painting of a noble man, his name is Price Khanthana. He has tattoos from belly to his knees.
Young Lovebirds Painting
This is a painting of young teenagers in a scene of dating. According to the local storytelling, the young lady asks the man, “Have you ever had a woman before?”. The young man replies that “No, I haven’t. And Do your parents allow me to be in your house?”. The lady says “Even my parents do not allow you inside my house, but i do allow you to come play inside of my heart”.
Available Ancient Thai Paintings For Sale
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The artwork will be carefully packaged in a protective cardboard box with Tracking Number.
Customers will receive the painting “Ready to Hang”, the canvas is already stretched on a wooden frame with a hook on the back.