Thai Fish Mobile

This is a large mobile, with one large fish, and many dangling smaller fish. It’s painted with thick, bright paint.

Fish in these mobiles are made to resemble carp, which are a symbol of abundance.   Carp grow to full size about the time that the rice is ready to harvest, and that time is called  kao mai pla man – “new rice and delicious fish.”   Smaller fish, hanging from the large fish, symbolize fertility.

Parents hang the mobiles over babies’ cradles to bless them with good health and prosperity.   Mobiles may also be hung in entryways of homes and shops to bring good fortune.

Mobiles are made from palm fronds: woven, folded, and painted in bright colors.  The craft may have originated from Thai Muslims – spice traders who sailed along the Chao Phraya River in Ayutthaya, an old kingdom that is now part of modern Thailand.

Information from:

The Bangkok Post
Children & Youth in History – George Mason University
Life and Ritual in Old Siam; Customs Connected with Birth and the Rearing of Children – by Phya Anuman Rajadhon