In the Kingdom of Thailand, still known fondly to many as the legend-filled Land of Siam, set in the middle of Southeast Asia, there is a rich tradition of folk arts and handicrafts. One of these crafts, which helps support the residents of a small village and protect their ancient forest, is a hand carved wooden frog. Carved from the wood of acacia trees, the wooden frog emits a mid-pitched chirping croak when caressed.
The frog is rubbed using a playing stick, which fits gently into its mouth when not in use. Originally created as a simple percussion toy for Thai children. But over time, these wooden croaking frogs were believed to be a source of fortune when their owners rubbed their backs to make a sound before going out to farm or harvest. The belief that the sound of frogs brings wealth and a bountiful rainy season is found in many agricultural societies.
“Hangdong” is the name of a small village in Chiang Mai, a beautiful province in Northern Thailand. Hangdong has about 1,000 families and it is the only remaining village that still carves the wooden croaking frogs in Thailand. All are carved by authentic, local, skilled artisans.
Using their knowledge of the forest, they carefully choose the Acacia wood which was not too old or too young. They carve it with passion and finally paint the frogs with lacquer or leave them with natural raw color. It is very rare that they paint them in vivid or fancy colors, but these can sometimes be found or requested. These wonderful and incredible wooden croaking frogs make great souvenirs from the Land of Siam. They are also very collectible, are good, environmentally sound toys for children and grandchildren, make a lovely home decoration, and are a good fortune gift for all those who trust in the Asian folk belief. Moreover, your purchase will help to maintain the work of artists and support the local residents of Hangdong village.
In addition to the wooden croaking frogs, they also have some variety of wooden percussion animal-like products for you to consider such as hooting owls, croaking pigs, singing ducks. For more information contact Rice Ave. at: 718.803.9001
1. Hold the frog by its front feet. Do not cover the hole in its cheek.
2. Use the playing stick accompanied in its mouth to rub its back
3. Rub the frog’s ridge from the back over to the front of its head.
4. Listen to the croaking sound and be in a peace of mind with good luck your entire day.