Mahasarakham Storytelling Project < Thai Connects   < MRM & Friends  

Dr. Wajuppa Tossa & MRMIn 1995 I was invited as a Fulbright Scholar to Mahasarakham University in North Eastern Thailand. There I worked under Dr. Wajuppa Tossa to assist in her project of training university students in the art of storytelling. We then toured sixteen provinces of Isaan, providing storytelling assemblies and teacher workshops. This was a cultural heritage project. The indigenous cultures of this region are Lao, Khmer, Pu-Thai, Suey, and other small groups of minorities. Thai Tales: Folktales of Thailand But the language and culture of these groups are being swallowed alive by the Bangkok Thai culture which is disseminated via television, print media, and a school system which requires instruction in that language. Dr. Wajuppa sees her storytelling project as a way to engender pride in the local languages and cultures. Toward this end, our students prepared their stories in Lao, or in other languages when we had students able to speak those.

The Girl Who Wore Too Much: A Folktale From Thailand For a description of this project see: "Storytelling: A Means to Maintain a Disappearing Language and Culture in Northeast Thailand" by Wajuppa Tossa, in Traditional Storytelling Today by Margaret Read MacDonald (Fitzroy Dearborn, 1999).

To contact Dr. Wajuppa Tossa: