1. Objectives and approach
* Reviewing the Thai collections of the Austrian Museum of Ethnology (cf. museum mission)
* The collections shall be made accessible to the public (online and print publication)
* To enlarge our comprehension of usage, meaning and historical context of these artefacts - and therewith
to broaden and deepen our understanding of Thai lifestyle and forms of cultural expression
* To exemplify the global presence of Thai Cultural Heritage since very long time
(that exists not only now in the modern age of increased global mobility of migrants and tourists)
* By this project we intend to inspire the public to deal with the subject of Thai living environment and cultural
expressions and contribute to carrying knowledge (about Thai culture and way of life) out into the world
and passing it down to the younger generations of Thais living abroad.
To achieve these objectives, the Austrian Museum of Ethnology invites experts in Thai Culture and scholars (in particular from Thailand and other museums) to review and comment the here showcased items of the collection. We also would be grateful to receive information and comments from non-academic Thai people, whose knowledge we likewise rank high and valuable.
This project provides access to the collections for the present generation of Thais who can partake in these objects of pride not heretofore seen or viewed by them. It offers an opportunity to become acquainted with the Thai heritage in Austria as documents of the past to inspire the future in our globalized world. The project reflects the collaborative efforts of the present keepers of Thai cultural material in Austria and the descendants of its original makers to share the responsibility for what also should be looked upon as a shared heritage. Therefore the project particularly is devoted to the Thai community in Austria also.
The in this project reviewed objects of the museum's collection not always strictly abides by the today's borders of Thailand. On the basis of the fact that most of the artefacts in question were collected in old Siam whose borders deviates from today's (maps), and by the cultural and linguistic kinship of neighbouring Tai-peoples it makes sense to include in certain cases objects geographically originating from today's Laos.