Kuman Thong (Thai: กุมารทอง) is an effigy, or statue which is revered in Thailand by animists. They are believed to bring luck and fortune to the owner, if properly revered. Kuman, or Kumara (Pali) means “young boy” (female kumari); thong means golden. Kuman thong is not a Buddhist practice, but necromancy. Genuine Kuman Thong, which was revered and created in ancient times according to traditional method by Adept practitioners of Saiyasart, was made by surgically removing the unborn fetus from the womb of its Mother. The body of the child would then be taken to a cemetery for the conduction of the ceremony to invoke a Kuman Thong. The body is roasted until dry whilst the Mage chants incantations of magical kata. In the case of making a female spirit child, the effigy is not called Kuman Tong, rather “Hong Pray”.
Some Kuman effigies will be soaked in Nam Man Prai, which has extract of a dead child or a person who died in violent circumstances or an unnatural death. This is much less common now, because this practice is now illegal if using fat from human babies for the consecrating oil. There are however still some authentically made amulets appearing. Some years ago a famous monk was thrown out of the Buddhist sangha for roasting a baby. He was convicted, but later continued to make magic as a layperson after his release. The practice of creating Necromantic effigies of a Kuman Tong comes from age old tradition in Thailand. Thai folk have made Bucha to Animistic spirits and ghosts since time immemorial. The original Kuman Tong came from children who died whilst still in their mothers womb. The Magic makers would take these stillborn babies and adopt them as their children.
From what information has been gathered from ancient Thai manuscripts about how to make a Kuman Tong, it appears that the correct method is to remove the dead baby surgically from the mothers womb, and take it to undergo the proper ceremonial ritual; The baby must be roasted until dry. This must be completed before dawn, and should be performed in a cemetery. Once the rite is completed, the dry-roasted Kuman should be painted with Ya Lak (a kind of lacquer used to cover amulets and Takrut with gold leaf) and covered in gold leaf. This is the real reason why this effigy received the name of “Kuman Thong” (which means “Golden Baby Boy”).
In Thailand, the Kuman Thong is also spoken of in the legend of Khun Chang Khun Phaen, where the character Khun Phaen made one by removing the stillborn baby from the stomach of his wife, whom he had killed.
On May 18, 2012 a 28 year-old British citizen of Taiwanese origin, Chow Hok Kuen, was arrested in a Bangkok hotel room with six male fetuses that had been roasted and covered in gold. Police reported that Kuen intended to sell the fetuses in Tawain for about 6,300 USD each.
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- Olarn, Kocha (18 May 2012). "In Thailand, roasted fetuses found stashed in luggage". CNN. Retrieved 19 May 2012.
- "Bangkok police arrest man accused of buying fetuses". The New York Post. 18 May 2012. Retrieved 19 May 2012.
- MacKinnon, Ian (18 May 2012). "Remains of six boys for black magic ritual found in suitcase". The Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 19 May 2012.
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- Kuman Thong Category – Kuman Thong History and Examples(in Thai)
- thai amulet website: http://www.kumantong-thaiamulets.com/