Khon, the art of Thai masked choreographed movements

Khon is a masked dance of Thailand that combines the art of music, storytelling, dance, and handcraftsmanship of Thailand. Khon was inscribed into UNESCO’s ICH of Thailand in 2018. The overall choreograph along with the narrations depict the story of Rama, the incarnation of the God Vishnu. Although the exact dates of the origin of Khon is not known, it is widely accepted as having been performed since the Ayutthaya Kingdom period of 15th century. The main principle characters are humans, ogres, and the monkeys. The monkey characters play a major role in the Khon performance as the epic tales of Ramakien derived from the hindu epic Ramayana. Thai animism has given the ogre and monkey characters a spiritual significance, as they become part of the Thai identity through their movements. Khon used to only be performed by the royal family and men were only allowed to play the role of the hero. However in recent years Khon is enjoyed by all spectators from different social backgrounds and women are depicted in all the roles. Khon traditionally have been transmitted through the royal courts as well as dance master’s households. In recent times, the transmissions process occur mostly in educational institutions and efforts have been made to establish the transmissions process to the youth through performance clubs. References: ICH UNESCO/Wikipedia


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