Daily Archives: January 5, 2006

Khon – The Masked Play

In Thailand, there are two main forms of Thai dance and theatre. These are “Lakhon” ( ละคร ) and “Khon” ( โขน ). Lakhon started out as a form of dance drama that has evolved over time. Khon, or the masked play, is a classical form of Thai drama. This play enacts episodes from the Indian epic Ramayana. Over the years Thai poets have adapted this story to include customs and ways of life of the Thai people. This new version is known as the Ramakien. It is basically a dance to music, songs and text recitation. There are four main groups of characters: human male, human female, demons and monkeys. The latter two groups wear masks which you can see in these pictures.

You can watch a short video clip here.

(The pictures and video clip were taken at Ancient City in Samut Prakan, over the new year holiday.)