What is a Ruesi?

Ruesi (also Known as Lersi, Pra Rasi or Rishi in India) is a type of jungle preacher or itinerant healer from Southeast Asia.


Ruesi was originally the term for a fortune teller, shaman or medicine man who lives secluded in the wilderness and spends his time in deep meditation or in the production of medicine. The culture of the Ruesi, like the culture of Pahuyuth, goes back to a time before Buddhism.

Ruesi in Saiyasart

The Ruesi were told, among other things, that they had the ability to leave their bodies, to predict the future, to create magical tattoos and amulets, and to be able to talk to animals. Love spells or the lifting of curses were also among the typical activities of a Ruesi.

These skills can be assigned to the fields of knowledge of Saiyasart or Yaan Meditation.

Pahuyuth healing healer naturhealer healer ruesi

The typical representation of a Ruesi in Saiysart is a Ruesi sitting in a meditation pose.

Ruesi in Sart Bambatgay

Many Ruesi worked as itinerant healers and masseurs, offering their services in the villages and then retreating back into the jungle.

It can be assumed that many former Free-Warriors chose an anonymous life as Ruesi in order to escape persecutors. Their knowledge of Sart Bambatgay helped them to live a life of peace and freedom.

Freikaempfer Heilkunde heilwissen heilkraudter heilpflanzen ruesi heiler kraeuter production

The typical representation of a Ruesi in the Sart Bambatgay is a Ruesi engaged in the production of medicinal herbs.

Pahuyuth traditional alternative medicine massage

Most foreigners are probably familiar with the rather newfangled depiction of a Ruesi during self-massage (Ruesi Dat Ton, also “Thai yoga”), as here in Wat-Pho.

Ruesi in Pahuyuth

A Ruesi plays an important role in the “Story of Gaeuw”. The Story of Gaeuw serves as part of the martial arts training of the Pahuyuth to teach the teaching methodology. It is about a young son of charcoal burners who went out to look for a hunter to save his village from a tiger gang.


The Lost Wizards of Thailand

An insight into the world of the Ruesi and their culture is provided by the short documentary The Lost Wizards of Thailand, to which we have dedicated its own blog post and show the film there in full length.

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