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Gold Leaf
Written by Wadee Kheourai   
Tuesday, 20 February 2007 19:12
I took the above picture of some of my relations putting gold leaf on a Buddha image. In the picture below the revered monk has so much gold leaf on him you cannot see the original statue.

Gold in the form of a thin leaf is an item valued for its purity as a religious offering and for its power to placate spirits and request favours. Postage-stamp-size booklets of gold leaves are always on sale along with incense, flowers and candles at temples and shrines for use as daily offerings.

One way for Thai Buddhists to show their respect for a person or concept is to make merit by affixing small squares of gold leaf onto images of Buddha or other sacred objects.

Even the act of making gold leaf earns merit for individuals. Sheets of gold are pounded to .000005 of an inch. The leaves of gold are made by two poundings with wooden mallets. It takes about five hours of hammering to complete one pouch of gold leaf. Then the job passes to the delicate hands of young girls to slice up squares of 2.5 centimetres and put them on waxed paper and stacked in booklets ready to sell.

Information from: "Thai Studies Through Games" Book 2 by Assist. Prof. Wadee Kheourai.

Pictures copyright: Panrit Daoruang