(left) Pra Rama and Princess Srida (right) Thotsakan
Date of Issue: 3rd August 2005
Designs: Illustrates Thai version of the drama Ramayana
(left) Hanuman (right) Pra Rama’s battle with Thotsakan
The mask play or khon drama is one of the oldest forms of Thai dramatics. Many of the khon dramas originated in the Ayutthaya Era. The play and costume designs are influenced by the traditional play “Chuck Nark”. The fighting style is inspired by Thai sword play and traditional musical plays. Most of the actors wear masks unless their roles are angels, humans, queens, princesses, or giants. The two most-played khon dramas are the Ramakien and Unarrud. The above stamps illustrate characters from the Ramakien.
I have seen extracts from the Ramakien and other masked drama plays at various locations. For example, at my school and at funerals (see picture above). The people attending this cremation actually encoraged me to take pictures and enjoy a front row seat. Plays and other performances are not unusual at funerals. More about this another day.