Blessing rites planned for royal funeral chariots

national September 05, 2017 12:34

By The Nation

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Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha will preside at a ritual at the National Museum on September 21 to bless the chariots to be used during the funeral of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej next month.

Deputy Prime Minister General Tanasak Patimapagorn on Monday also showed reporters an elaborately carved Naga stairway balustrade that was almost complete and would be installed at the royal crematorium on September 15.

That same day, one side of a large sculpted bust of Lord Brahma that will appear on the funeral canopy would be handed over to the Fine Arts Department, he said. 

Thanasak, who chairs a committee overseeing the crematorium construction and restoration of the funerary chariots, was visiting the Thonburi Art School with Fine Arts Department chief Anan Chuchote to check on the work’s progress. 

Thanasak said artisans from the Kao Koet and Sribuathong royal centres for folk arts and crafts had been working on the Naga staircase railings and canopy decorations since April. 

Preparations have proceeded according to schedule and all of the decorative fixtures should be completed by September 15, ready for installation at the crematorium at Bangkok’s Sanam Luang, he said.

Sudsakhon Chaisem, who designed and supervised construction of the stairway railings, said only six Naga figures still needed to be finished, on the fourth level. 

There are one-headed Nagas on the first level, three-headed Nagas on the second, five-headed Nagas on the third and seven-headed Nagas on the fourth. 

He said his team also had completed 132 statues of angels for the crematorium’s tall Than Pai Thee pavilion and 32 more for a wooden platform. 

The remaining three sides of the Brahma head should be completed by September 15, Sudsakhon said. 

“All of the artisans are honoured to be doing this work and don’t feel tired in any way,” he said. “We are devoted to honouring His Majesty the late King and are deeply grateful to Her Majesty Queen Sirikit for all her support for the artisans, many of whom are hilltribe people from remote rural areas.”

The royal funeral will take place from October 25-29.