Spirit house

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For the spirit house used by the Dakelh (Carrier) people of British Columbia, see Spirit house (Dakelh).
Cambodian style spirit houses.
Old spirit houses are often left by sacred trees or at wats.

A spirit house (Burmese: နတ်စင် or နတ်ကွန်း), san phra phum (Thai: ศาลพระภูมิ, Khmer rean tevoda, "place for the tevoda-spirit", or pteah phum, "house for the spirit of the land") is a shrine to the protective spirit of a place that is found in the Southeast Asian countries of Burma, Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand.

Most houses and businesses have a spirit house placed in an auspicious spot, most often in a corner of the property. The location may be chosen after consultation with a Brahmin priest. The spirit house is normally in the form of a miniature house or temple, and is mounted on a pillar or on a dais.

The house is intended to provide a shelter for spirits that could cause problems for the people if not appeased. The shrines often include images of people and animals. Votive offerings are left at the house to propitiate the spirits. More elaborate installations include an altar for this purpose.


See also[edit]

A spirit house in Livingstonia, Malawi (ca.1910)

External links[edit]

Media related to Spirit houses at Wikimedia Commons