Ban Trang Community in Ban Trang Sub-district, Mayo District, Pattani Province, has this name since the era of early Rattanakosin. At that time, most villagers were rice farmers and they had rice straws or stubbles piled in the center of the village. Originally, this village was called Kongsang Village or Sang Village, but at present, it was changed to Ban Trang, well known for Juan Tani-patterned cloth or Lima Cloth products, which are handicraft arts on these cotton cloths that reflect unique stories of Ban Trang Community from the past untill present. It is legacy of wisdom that has been inherited for the legend of thread until it becomes the identity of Pattani Province. Ban Trang Community Women Group still conserves Juan Tani pattern combined with basic patterns with development all the time. Finally, they work with Princess Galyani Vadhana Institute of Cultural Studies to extend the patterns to look more modern by applying it into various new items. At present, they are selected as 5-Star product in type of traditional-patterned cloth of Pattani Province.
“Wear Green Juan Tani and hold a golden lamp, the tail of sarong is long, and wear a golden belt” This is a part of Thai literature named “Enau”, the royal writing of King Rama 1. It was about Juan Tani cloth, ancient Madmhee cloth that is widely used among Javanese- Melayu Muslims who were noblemen and wealthy people. It is woven with delicate fine silk, and banana rope is used to tie to make patterns with vivid colors. There are 3 components of Juan Tani Cloth including cloth tail having red color with no patterns, cloth head containing 5-6 patterns of which the converging points are called Juan, and cloth body covering most space of cloth with only one pattern. Popular patterns are golden belt pattern, golden fish pattern, flower pattern, star pattern, Puka pattern etc.
It has been 40 years from former to present generations, and to be inherited to descendants, Ban Trang people in Ban Trang Sub-district, Mayor District, Pattani Province started cloth weaving group since 1983. From Ban Trang Arts and Crafts Group, it was developed to be Ban Trang Cloth Weaver Community Enterprise. From the beginning of normal cloth weaving with Lukkaew pattern and loincloth pattern, in 1999, Queen Sirikit had a royal initiative to restore and conserve traditional clothes by operating works in 2 areas that had a weaving group including Sai Khao Sub-district and Ban Trang Sub-district. It started from having lecturers to provide a training for cloth weaving groups from basic weaving method, which took about 1 year. When being skillful, they would study about advanced cloth weaving such as Madmhee cloth weaving with Juan Tani Pattern. Later, Ban Trang Cloth Weaver Group applied Juan Tani cloth with cotton and used traditional Juan Tani pattern mixed with local patterns of their village to tell the stories of villager’s living way. There are 5 patterns including Sri Trang Pattern, Kongsang Pattern, Kon Hoi Pattern, Pakpao Pattern, and Khom Pattern
Ban Trang Cloth Weaver Community Enterprise cooperates with the project for Juan Tani cloth or Lima cloth community conservation and development under the program of cultural-based economic development in multicultural area of Pattani by Princess Galyani Vadhana Institute of Cultural Studies to develop the process of Juan Tani cloth production. This program has been undertaken since 2018, and related persons surveyed the area to create processes for the villagers to jointly analyze potentials of the cloth weaving group. Weaknesses are found that the weavers cannot weave the entire cloth and there is a problem of color design. Therefore, the villagers were taken to have a fieldtrip about ancient woven cloth such as Kelantan Museum in Malaysia, a museum at the Institute for Southern Thai Studies, Songkhla Province so that they realized values and had consciousness to conserve Juan Tani cloth
After that, the program invited external lecturers to provide a training and provided instructors who specialized in related fields such as loom maker, and art and craft teachers to help training about Juan Tani cloth weaving such as tie-dye, patterning and weaving. The program supported threads as material including artificial silk threads and cotton threads instead of silk thread like in traditional Juan Tani Cloth and develop skills of silk cloth weaving. The members were taken to have a fieldtrip in Surin province. It also supported marketing by developing Lima Tani brand for the products to be widely well-known with distribution channel through Facebook Page: Ban Trang Juan Tani Cloth @ JuanTaniFabricWeavingBantrang
Previously, each member in the cloth weaving group had income from cloth weaving for 5,000-10,000 Baht/ month. At present, they have income for at least 30,000 Baht/ month as additional income from their main careers, of which most of them are farmers while some are community leaders and bureaucrats. However, they have passion for conserving and inheriting arts and handicrafts. During their free time, they weave cloth to earn extra income for their family, that they can support their children to further study and return to develop their community. It is also a way to succeed skill of cloth weaving to new-generation people for the know-how not to be lost.
For group management, the members clearly allocate duties including cloth quality check, sale, accounting and extension as well as capital management. There are savings in the group for members to borrow until present, the fund has money for 5 million Baht. The group’s products are accepted as five-star products and souvenirs of Pattani Province. This is the story of Ban Trang Cloth Weaver Group, a small group that is like small threads interlacing. They represent harmony and unity, and reflect that harmony in the community is necessary that will finally bring happiness and peace to the area.