Thai Folk Art
Thailand is a country with many fascinating cultures each holding their own customs and believes. They know how to make beautiful products such as hand-made pottery, clothes (in particular hill tribe costumes), artificial flowers, wooden furniture’s and creative creations of paper, bamboo, pineapple and banana leaves. Besides there is the food and beverage which is different throughout the several parts in Thailand.
Unfortunately, people living in the rural areas of Thailand have to cope with a high level of poverty. A project called OTOP, meaning One Tambon, One Product has been set-up to support and inspire those communities by strengthening the marketing of these unique products.
Aim of the OTOP project
It was 2001 when the government started the project which was successfully continued in the years that followed. By uniting the marketing of the various products not only the disadvantaged communities receive more benefits but also the export of the country increased notably. By means of this project communities will learn how to market their products so they will be self reliant in the future.
There are a few requirements before a certain product can be certified as a OTOP product.
- Preferably original handicrafts from local tribes.
Originality is awarded! Special products and especially products made by the local tribes do get a priority above others. Herewith, the Thai government wants to encourage creativity of the people and maintain the ancient cultures.
- Products need to meet the quality standards.
OTOP products are classified with a star rate system up to five stars – assuring the quality of the products.
- The production capacity needs to be high enough to assure prompt production.
In order to receive the OTOP logo, the productivity needs to be high enough to produce products for a reasonable scale.
Where to buy
The community handicrafts are made for you. You can support the communities by buying their products either online on the website of OTOP or offline in one of the OTOP shops and several markets. Walk around on a market at your own ease and find some original products, originated from diverse places in Thailand.