Memorial to bravery of Korat people ( อนุสรณ์สถานวีรชนคนโคราช )
Main square downtown Korat
This monument is very popular and one of Korat’s landmarks. It is located in Korat’s main square, northern half but towards the centre of the square, next to the Thao Suranaree Light and Sound museum. It consists of a group statue surrounded by a rectangular water basin. It stands out in the middle of the square and you could not miss it. The group is composed of a seemingly abandoned cart and 17 persons in fighting attitude, standing on a hilly ground.
Here are some pictures of the monument as a whole.
The scene refers clearly to Korat people’s fight for freedom against the Lao army, under Thao Suranaree’s leadership, in 1826. Thao Suranaree herself is supposedly reproduced in the centre of the group in a leading and inspired attitude. The other characters look like improvised warriors, mostly females, dressed like farmers and armed with makeshift weapons. The simple attires and weapons, as well as the clear predominance of female characters (14 in total, against only 3 males), emphasizes the civilian character of this improvised army. The abandoned cart is there to prove that the battle is real and not just a game.
Half of the fighters are reproduced in a defensive pose, surrounding their leader whose back is protected also by the cart. The other half are reproduced in an attacking pose, as if advancing towards an invisible enemy. All have a resolute, aggressive, even ferocious attitude, expressed both in their poses and in their grimaces. We tried to capture this strong feeling in some of the pictures below.
Here are the pictures of 14 characters standing all around the group and surrounding the other 3 characters. We started from the southwestern corner and proceeded clockwise until the southeastern corner.
Here are the pictures of 3 characters standing inside the group, from north to south, the last supposedly representing Thao Suranaree.
The monument was commissioned by Korat’s municipality as part of the central square renovation project in the 1990’s. According to information we were able to collect, it was inaugurated in 1992. It is made of bronze and silver. The author is a renowned local artist: National Artist Prof. Tavee Rutchaneekon ( อ. ทวี รัชนีกร ). Here is an official page about him (in Thai).