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Thailand’s Forgotten Tribe: The Fight to Safeguard the Culture and Lifestyle of the Maniq People – This Will Leave You Speechless!

The recent times have seen a passionate bid for the safeguarding of the cultural legacy and standard of living for the Maniq tribe of Thailand. The call to action has been made by an encamped Buddhist assembly known as the Five Precept Protection Committee found in the southern region of Thailand. The core apprehension the committee holds is regarding the potential effects of outside factors on the community.

During their tour of Satun province, the plea was voiced. The purpose of their tour was to assess the advancement of a unified national project. Their visit extended to the community of the Maniq tribe, more commonly referred to as Sakai, within the Thung Wa district.

Encompassing a population of 382 members, the Maniq tribe resides in the expansive Bantad mountain range that traverses through Satun, Trang, and Phatthalung districts. These nomadic hunter-gatherers live in harmonious coexistence with nature. They usually communicate with outsiders using the Thai language, with translation support often provided by interpreters.

The deputy head of the Songkhla Buddhist clergy order, Phra Sophon Woraporn, also a committee member, brought to light the existence of diverse groups within the tribe scattered across Satun. Currently, the committee is diligently working towards discovering methods to ensure the defense of the unique cultural identity of the tribe, as well as protecting their lifestyle from any external influences.

As voiced by Phra Sophon, a prospective solution would involve defining exclusive zones where the Maniq tribe can maintain their traditional lifestyle. Simultaneously, these areas would be open for academic inquiry. The intention is to encourage the establishment of connections between the tribe and external entities, therefore lessening the likelihood of any potential conflict arising from misconceptions.

In a series of visits, Somchai Seanglai, along with other senators, made a trip to the Maniq community located in the Pa Bon district of Phatthalung. This particular tribe section is bestowed with the surname Rakpabon, meaning Preserving Pa Bon, which interestingly echoes the name of the district. This was reported by Bangkok Post.

In his discourse, Somchai emphasized that in the past times, citizenship cards were issued to the Maniq tribe. This act endowed them entrance to state welfare. Such a move is regarded as a pivotal step towards recognizing and upholding the tribe’s unique cultural identity and manner of living.

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