Portable Storage Baskets
It would be fantastic during this Thai traditional New year to cover one of our unique Thai heriage especially portable baskets. There are thousands of different basket designs in Thailand, almost as many as there are basket makers, but we are covering only one type of popular design. This kind of storage basket is only made in bamboo; after that it is either finished in paint or made into laquerware.
A Heeb Pah is a kind of portable storage basket, unique to northern Thailand. The kind that we are featuring is oblong in shape, and can be used for many different purposes, including storing linen, clothes, and papers. They are still very much in evidence in the North; they have not been completely replaced by modern plastic containers.
It has a solid wooden base that is edged and supported with ratten strips to give it strength. Usually it was made in one of two finishes, either black laquer or natural bamboo. Sometimes a vermillion laquer paint is used that produces a very distinctive finish.
If the basket is coated with many layers of resinous laquer, it becomes hard and smooth, and sometimes designs are painted on the laquer by hand. The varnish is made by specialists from certain trees native to Japan and China. The Heeb Pah is usually around 35 X 30 X 50 centimeters in size.