Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Spirits of People Belief : Keeping out the bad spirits

This Ting Mong has a body of straw and a face drawn on paper

Keep your eyes open for Ting Mong like this next time you're in the countryside

Close-up of this Ting Mong that didn't scare away the cattle!

A Ting Mong found on Route 6 just outside Kompong Thom

Courtesy of Andy's Cambodia: http://www.andybrouwer.co.uk/

Scarecrows are usually found in a field of corn or other crops to scare away birds but in Cambodia they can also be seen outside homes and are called Ting Mong. As part of village life and the belief systems of Cambodians in the countryside, animism plays a central role in those beliefs which can be seen in the relevance of spirit forces like Neak Ta and the Ting Mong.

People believe that an unknown force is embodied in the scarecrow, puppet-like figure, which they call Ting Mong, that will protect them from disease or death. Often you will find these Ting Mong constructed using spare clothes and placed in front of the house doorway in the belief that it has the power to drive away the spirit of disease, danger or death including epidemics of dengue fever for example. Ting Mong is also the name given to the larger-than-life puppets with giant heads that you see at certain festivals in the Khmer calendar.

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