Lersi or Ruesi

In Thailand there is a hermit tradition ฤาษี whose followers are not easy to find. They are seen as healers or shamans and are sometimes feared although their services are sometimes required. You can see the typical dress from the photo

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The man on the right in the photo had what looked like a skin melanoma on his throat and asked the Lersi for treatment. The treatment was quite scary and many spectators ran away in panic. I kept shooting photos of course.

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The last step of the treatment is where the Lersi poked the “patient” in the back, who then promptly vomited. I spoke to the Lersi afterwards and he spoke quite good english. I wished I had tagged along with him for the day but somehow forgot in the excitement of the moment ! If you know where he is, please let me know. In the meantime, here are some really good explanations of the Lersi tradition:

Interview with a Ruesi

Siam and Beyond blog

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