Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > "Remembering Together": Huaytom Community and the Use of Narrative in a Time of Transition

This thesis examines how the Karen people of Huaytom community in Li District, Lamphun Province, Thailand use narratives as a means to keep their charismatic leader, Kruba Wong, present in their lives. Kruba Wong was a monk who founded the community in 1971, directed the community for almost thirty years, and is still influential to the Karen villagers until now even though he died in 2000. This thesis explores the ways in which these people deal with a transition: a time when Kruba Wong is not there with them anymore. In this situation, the Karen of Huaytom have their own ways to make their leader present and to avoid the need for a new leader. Their collective memories of Kruba Wong, their passionate feelings toward him, and their beliefs in him lead them to tell the stories about him. And by telling, retelling, and commemorating these stories, the people of Huaytom revive Kruba Wong and maintain a situation in which he has never really left them.