Bulrush products are famous souvenirs of Narathiwat Province, and highly needed in marketplaces. However, if mentioning an outstanding product, that many communities process raw materials to be widely well-known wickerwork, it must be products from Ton Amarn Village, Khok Khian Sub-district, Narathiwat Province, which is the village located near the seashore of Ban Thon Beach, natural white and clean beach. Most populations are Muslim and earn living by being a fisherman. Moreover, they spend free time to invent local handicraft works such as Ko Lae boat model, mat making from Bulrush leaves etc.
Bulrus is in the same species of weed, well growing in peat swamp forest. As Ban Thon villagers have few rice farms as they live near the sea, they need to buy paddy rice to store for consumption, and that the villagers make Bulrush sacks to contain paddies with their local wisdom and meticulous skill. They modify and create various patterns and forms for bulrush handicraft works with outstanding uniqueness.
Ban Ton Amarn Bulrush Group is in Khok Khian Sub-district, Narathiwat Province, originated from Patcharin Binjeming, the group president, participating in the arts and crafts project and being assigned to gather housewives who were poor, and had basis of bulrush interlacing to set up a group. At first, this group had 15 members and they did not know where to sell the products. However, having an opportunity to join an event of Arts and Crafts Day at Thaksin Rajanives Palace, the members joined art and craft product contests and were rewarded for intertwined bulrush box product, making the member proud of and confident with the work they did. After that, the number of members increased up to 20 persons, and they are all women. In the past, they made it for household use or as an extra job, but at present, it becomes the main occupation of housewives in the community.
Bulrush products of Ton Amarn Village are focused on unique traditional patterns of the area and have high quality that they are widely accepted. At present, the products from Bulrush of Ton Amarn Village Group will be delivered to the Arts and Crafts Promotion Foundation, and every product of the group will be passed to Chitralada Royal Villa. Then, the products may be sold at the booths in OTOP events organized by the government nationwide. As a result, the members have income for 5,000 Baht/ month on average, and some parts of the income will be deducted into the group fund before distributed to the members. It is the fund for members to borrow without interest. Quality of life of each member improves with their own skills.
Khok Khian Sub-District Administration Organization has supported budget for career making since 2012 and provided personnel with knowledge and competency to be a lecturer to transmit knowledge to members in the group such as knowledge about processing, network construction and marketing as well as to provide trainings for local youths so that people in the area will have stable income and economic prosperity.
Development of outstanding products of Bulrush of Ban Ton Group reflects persistence to obstacles, battle against local violence, harmony, adaptation and development that they can uplift their products and generate income for local people impressively. You can but local products, visit places or have a fieldtrip with the group as Ton Amarn Village is a member of OTOP Inno-Life-Based Tourism Community Program. This community is for conservation tourism, and the learning center for wisdom about bulrush interlacing. You will experience fishermen’s way of living that they use a boat to earn living and apply it as a boat product and boat model.