Ethnographic Museum of the University of Zurich

DEVOTION - Image, Recitation, and Celebration of the Vessantara Epic in Northeast Thailand

The Vessantara story – the dramatic tale of Prince Vessantara who gave away his wife and children, is the most quoted and most widely known story in the Theravada Buddhist cultures of Southeast Asia – Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, southern Vietnam, southern China, Myanmar, and also Sri Lanka. We need ask what makes the Vessantara story so appealing to the people?

This exhibition and the exhibition publication seek to provide answers based on Northeast Thailand’s Bun Phra Wet festival – a multi-faceted celebration of the Vessantara story – as an example.

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