Asian Antiques by Silk Road
Thai Lanna Carved Teak Roof Ornament

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Directory: Popular Collectibles: Cultural: Thai: Pre 2000: item # 832718

Please refer to our stock # 57-81 when inquiring.

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Thai Lanna Carved Teak Roof Ornament
This soaring form, called a gaelae (galae), is seen in Northern Thailand on the peaked rooftops of houses and other structures built by the Thai Lanna people. On old buildings gaelae are extensions of the ends of roof beams crossed to form a V-shape. On newer houses they usually are separate carvings such as this one and are attached to the peaks of the steep roofs after the basic structure is completed. As to their original use, the most commonly heard explanation is that they were meant to discourage large birds from landing on the roofs, and so sometimes gaelae pieces are referred to as “glancing crows” or “glancing pigeons.” Another theory is that they represented buffalo horns, a symbol of wealth. Regardless of their utility, the carved curves and swirls perched high atop roofs silhouetted against the sky are an exotic north Thailand sight. We also have seen these carved forms used as interior wall ornaments, both in Thailand and in Western environments. The two long carved pieces are attached to a pivot in the center triangle so they can be folded or spread like wings. This gaelae is about 20 years old, made of Thai teak and nicely carved. It is in excellent condition. Dimensions: height 27” (69 cm), width 25” (64 cm), depth 1 ¼” (3 cm).

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