Tai Magic – Arts of the Supernatural in the Shan States and Lan Na is a superbly illustrated book that introduces manuscripts, textiles and talismans associated with the supernatural. Within the context of Tai cosmology and numerology, Theravada Buddhism and spirit religion, the book examines how good and bad spirits are represented in figurative illustrations and how mystical diagrams and spells are formulated to bring good luck and protection or cause bad luck. Extensive field work studies over a period of four years were conducted in the Shan States and in northern Thailand.
Using her field notes and photographs Susan Conway provides a colourful picture of the people who create magic and explains how mystical remedies are prescribed and the rituals involved. The author includes comparative material from museum collections in the USA, UK and Thailand.