Animism is the oldest known type of belief system in the world that even predates paganism. It is still practiced in a variety of forms in many traditional societies. Animism is used in the anthropology of religion as a term for the belief system of many indigenous tribal peoples, especially in contrast to the relatively more recent development of organized religions. Although each culture has its own different mythologies and rituals, "animism" is said to describe the most common, foundational thread of indigenous peoples' "spiritual" or "supernatural" perspectives. The animistic perspective is so widely held and inherent to most animistic indigenous peoples that they often do not even have a word in their languages that corresponds to "animism" (or even "religion"); the term is an anthropological construct.
Thailand’s Animist Practices and Beliefs
Before Hinduism and Buddhism were introduced into Thailand there was only one religious belief, that belief was that a spirit world existed, not only did the spirits exist but they were mightily powerful and controlling, this belief is called Animism and it manifests itself in the form of spirit worship. It might not be strictly correct to call Animism a religion, maybe it is better categorized as a spiritual belief (spirit worship), but it is without doubt the oldest form of worship known to mankind, ‘Spirit Worship’ in one form or another was practiced long before all the popular world religions.The majority religion in Thailand is Buddhism, 95 percent of the population are Buddhist but the percentage of Thais who have animist beliefs is probably slightly higher. Animism is practiced on a daily basis by most Thai people, although their religion is Buddhism they actually devote more of their time to Animist beliefs than they do practicing Buddhism.
Examples of Animism in Thailand.