Forged from the Fire of War
Early in the 1800’s, blacksmiths from Laos settled in the Thai province of Ayutthaya due to the access to markets and plentiful wood. During the reign of the 2nd King of Thailand, when Burmese forces invaded Ayutthaya, the Aranyik village started making swords for the Thai resistance forces and various weapons for the royal palace. 'Aranyik' is a traditional name from the Ayutthaya period, when wars were fought in hand-to-hand battles. The Aranyik Village's claim to fame began as sword-smiths specializing in battle blades.
Heritage Craftsmanship in Today's Market
For over 200 years, these artisans have handcrafted each knife with stainless steel and Pradu wood. Families form co-operatives and have skilled village workers for each part of the process including forging, grinding, stamping, woodwork, and finishing. The main goal is to create a small economy for the village, but also to preserve their heritage craftsmanship in making knives. Each knife is unique and carries with it a rich history.
To this day, known for their superior craftsmanship, Aranyik Village remains at the forefront as the country's leading producer of hand-made, high-quality knives and swords. To suit modern day markets and requirements, the swords have been pared down and diversified to top-quality knives, silverware, cutlery and tools. Aranyik products are noted for its five-star One Tambon One Product (OTOP) items - OTOP is a local entrepreneurship stimulus program movement that is a self-help effort wherein rural communities participate in the creation of a product that can be sold locally and internationally.
Sources: Sarah Laping Garland of Verve Culture; Phusadee Arunmas of Bangkok Post; Ussanee Seesod of Aranyik for Living