The modern Nation of Thailand is a multicultural society. The predominant Thai culture, identity and civilization emerged as a by product of the interaction of the indigenous population with Tai and other immigrant peoples . When people call themselves ‘’ Thai ’’ they mean they are in the political sense, subjects of the Thailand nation. If explored further the word has a cultural and, for many, a linguistic sense. However not all Thailand citizens speak Thai and of those who do so it is a second language for them. This Thai identity in its present form is relatively recent.
The first inhabitants are described in the Prehistory link. After prehistoric times there were the Mon, the Khmer and other Austro-Asiatic tribes such as the Lawa, H’ tin, etc. Their defining moments are up until 1300 and the arrival of the Tai tribes. The Khmer who established the Kingdom of Chenla and Angkor are described in East Thailand People although Khmer influence was significant elsewhere as well.
The Austro-Asiatic speakers including the Mon are considered in North Thailand People and Central Thailand People regions. The Mon had separate kingdoms in each region. The other Austro-Asiatic speaking tribes are considered but these were less significant. In North Thailand People we describe the smaller groups of Austro-Asiatic speakers such as the Lawa, H’ tin and other hunters and gathers of that region.