(เกลือไดโนเสาร์) Dino Salt: Treasure from Ancient Soil
The soil of Ban Boh, Wiang Kao district carries a prehistoric treasure. This surrounding area sits above a large dome of salt that sometimes comes to the soil surface. Experts said that these salt pits are more than 70 million years old. For over hundreds of years, local people have been using this natural treasure for many things. They exchanged salt for other things like food and clothes. Local people also use salt product to preserve food, like Pla-Ra (traditional Northeastern-style fermented fish). Salt production has been their way of life and their identity for over a century.
Before the salt production season in each year (around February – before the first rain), the local holds a ritual to worship the Guardian Spirit of the Salt Pit. After that, they start the process. They collect soil surface and mix it with water to make saline solution. Salt makers also use a piece of wood to measure its right salt content; if the wood sinks, it is not salty enough. If it floats, then the saltiness is ready! Then, the boiling begins. After some time, the heat causes water from the solution to evaporate and the salt within to crystallize. After most of the water is gone, white salt crystals are visible. Salt makers then collect, dry, and put the salt into containers. This salt production not only sustains the community, but it also reflects on the culture and lifestyle of the local people.