Pra Kru – Pim Somkor Kampaeng Phet

Pra Kamphaeng Soom Kor, revered as the ultimate and emblematic amulet of Kamphaeng Phet, holds a timeless status in both Buddhist art and spiritual potency. It is included in the prestigious Benjapakee set, considered the highest echelon of Thai amulets.

These sacred artifacts are crafted from a blend of clay, medicinal herbs, and flower pollen, with some also made from metal alloys. The artistic style of Pra Soom Kor reflects the Sukhothai period, featuring the Buddha in a meditative posture adorned with intricate kanok (foliage) patterns on the sides, seated upon a lotus throne with stylized elephant tusks.

Pra Kamphaeng Soom Kor exists in two primary forms: with and without kanok patterns. The version without the kanok patterns prominently exhibits Lankan art influences. The clay used in these amulets is mixed with medicinal herbs and flower pollen, giving the surface a smooth, glossy texture. When rubbed with cotton or cloth, they become distinctly shiny.

While predominantly made from clay, some Pra Kamphaeng Soom Kor amulets are found in metal and purely herbal forms, though these are extremely rare. These amulets are primarily discovered in the areas surrounding Wat Phra Borommathat, Wat Phikun, Wat Ruesi, and across the Thung Setthi plains.

The brown-colored Pra Kamphaeng Soom Kor without kanok patterns is particularly rare, as most are typically black. A unique characteristic of these amulets is the presence of small red spots on the surface, known as “wan dok makham,” and black spots in the crevices, referred to as “black mold.”

The Somkor pim  is sometimes called the Buddha of Fortune. It was said that when these amulets were found, an inscription “Poverty will never fall on those who possesses this amulet ” was written in the chedi.

Pra Kamphaeng Soom Kor is renowned for its comprehensive spiritual benefits, encompassing kindness, popularity, protection from harm, and fortune. Due to its inclusion in the Benjapakee set, the demand among collectors is incredibly high, making these amulets both expensive and hard to find.

Kamphaeng Phet, known for its rich history of sacred amulets, is truly a city of ancient treasures. The abundance of amulet vaults in this city makes it impossible to detail each one individually. Instead, this article will provide a general overview to guide enthusiasts and scholars alike.

Kru Thung Setthi

The Thung Setthi area, located across from present-day Kamphaeng Phet province in what was once Khlong Suan Mak subdistrict, now Nakhon Chum subdistrict, is renowned for its numerous amulet Kru (vaults). Some of the most significant kru in Thung Setthi include:

  • Wat Phra Borommathat Vault
  • Chedi Klang Thung Vault
  • Wat Phikun Vault
  • Soom Kor Vault
  • Ban Setthi Vault
  • Ruesi Vault
  • Wat Noi Vault (Soom Kor Dam Vault)
  • Wat Nong Langa Vault
  • Hua Yang Vault
  • Khlong Phrai Vault
  • Non Muang Vault

Phra Somkor normally comes in either the shape of a thumbnail, or an oval shape commonly referred to as cake amulets (kanom). They are estimated to have been made some 600 years ago.

These pims originate from a number of temples within the province of kampaengphet. In fact the majority of pims come from a site known as  Thung-Sethi, located in the centre of old Nakon Chum, hence the name of the pim.