Payom Sinawat: Pioneering Voice in Thai Education and Social Advocacy

OV Digital Desk

Image Courtesy: Google Doodle

Payom Sinawat (3 February 1909 – 25 October 2008) was a Thai textile artist. In 1987, she was named the National Artist in visual arts for her expertise in the traditional textile arts of Isan (Northeastern Thailand).

Life and Career

She was born in Sisaket Province, Thailand, on 3 February 1909. In addition to handcrafting silk for the Queen, Sinawat played a vital role in popularizing traditional textile arts. Kanyai Payom was trained in silk with her mother at Nakhon Ratchasima Province from an early age, merging silk threads, bleaching, dyeing, and weaving. After marriage, she moved to Roi Et Province where she studied cloth work with her husband’s family.

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As a result of heart failure, Payom Sinawat passed away peacefully at Ramathibodi Hospital on 25 October 2008.

Award and Legacy

To modernize and conserve traditional textile art, Sinawat combined old and new materials with an emphasis on quality. For her excellent craftsmanship, she was awarded the title of Thailand National Artist in 1987, which is awarded annually to notable Thai artists. As a result of sharing her craft with society, she ensured that northeastern Thai weaving techniques and their beautiful silks will be preserved for future generations. Throughout her career, she received a number of awards.

On 3 February 2018, Google Doodle celebrated Payom Sinawat’s 109th Birthday.