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Ton Mai

by Micha F. Lindemans
Ton Mai, or phi Ton Mai, are spirits that reside in trees. There are two classes: benevolent and malevolent ones. Throughout Thailand trees are wrapped with cloth, particularly near temples, signifying that a spirit inhabits that tree. Such trees may not be cut down without warning and giving the spirit ample time to find another tree to inhabit.

Certain types of trees are often associated with a particular spirit. For example, the banana tree is inhabited by Nang Mai, a female spirit, or the Nang Tanee; the hopea sangal trees are inhabited by Nang Takian.

Article details:

  • Also known as:
    phi Ton Mai

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