The Study Mong Wai: Karen's Musical Instrument of Sangkhlaburi District, Kanchanaburi


  • Pratchaya Wongpotjanee Faculty of Fine Arts, Srinakharinwirot University
  • Kanchana Intarasunanont Faculty of Fine Arts, Srinakharinwirot University


Mong Wai, Karen’s musical instrument, Sangkhlaburi District


The objectives of this research are, 1) to study the history, background, functions and components of Mong wai, and 2) to collect and analyze songs that played by Mong wai in Karen culture. The study and analysis of data collected by surveying and interviewing revealed that;

1. Mong Wai is a percussion musical instrument invented by Karen tribe in Myanmar. Mong Wai has 18 small Gongs with 18 different pitches that orderly, made from alloy and looked similar to Thai Mong (Thai Gong). Mong Wai has big knob at the middle of each Gong, which has different size and produces different musical note. Luk Mong are attached to all three parts of a wooden frame. Mong Wai plays a highly influential role for Karen culture. Mong Wai is usually played as the main instrument in most of the Karen festivals and ceremonies.

2. There are 12 Songs performed by using Mong Wai at different Karen ceremonies, i.e., 1) Paying homage to the teacher 2) End of Buddhist Lent Day 3) Temple fair 4) Fulfill one’s vow 5) Songkran festival 6) The funeral. From the song analysis it is found that the major tone of most songs is in çFaé note. The songs generally start with introduction part and also end with the same introduction part. The songs also have a repeat and upbeat rhythm. At all annual festivals, Mong Wai is usually used as the main musical instrument for attracting people to attend the events.


How to Cite

Wongpotjanee, P., & Intarasunanont, K. (2013). The Study Mong Wai: Karen’s Musical Instrument of Sangkhlaburi District, Kanchanaburi. Fine Arts Journal: Srinakharinwirot University, 17(2), 228–232. Retrieved from