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Nang Shadow Puppets of Thailand
Transcript of Nang Shadow Puppets of Thailand
have a religious theme or have an episode from the Ramayana epic which contains dozens of individual stories (up-to-the minute reflections, songs, & poems about local events & matters of current interest in the district or country)
there are hundreds of different characters each with a distinctive shadow, but the show will almost always include a clown, funny old man, scatter-brained old woman or rather stupid yokel, who are all great favorites with the fun-loving audiences
Mr. Suchart Sapsin
-a man of many talents
-expert in the craft of making the puppets
an award-winning writer & poet
a narrator, speaking or singing all the parts using different voices
-was one form of public entertainment in the south of Thailand
-still very popular at village festivals, temple fairs, and celebrations such as marriages
-characters are made from intricately cut out and articulated shapes of leather
-are delicately colored, but this does not show during a performance as the puppets appear only in shadow against a white sheet, with light shining through from behind
-are manipulated with rods that control movements of that control movements of the arms & legs
Nang recites tales of the gods & contemporary people through stories of love, current events, and tradition. The shadow uppets used in the Nang represent the norms of Thai society. These are themes:
Two types of the Nang:
fantastic adventures of a wandering hero
star-crossed lovers and
romantic tales, hermits teaching magic to their apprentices and abandoned children seeking lost loved ones
The Nang's Theater Troupe
Usually consists of 5 to 10 puppeteers & musicians
Nai Nang- the teachers & presenters of the Nang Talung
There are over 300 Nai Nang in the southern regions of Thailand
They perform using the puppets on a blacklighted white screen, & hide themselves in small wood & bamboo shelters
The performances run from dusk to dawn & incorporate narration, songs, prose & the performer's improvised dialogue
The rhythm & fluidity of each performance is essential
Characters such as gods & goddesses, kings & queens, magical figures & comedians
Nang Shadow Puppets of Thailand
1. Nang Talung- played with leather puppets, each representing a separate character, about 50cm high.
2. Nang Yai- normally made of cowhide & rattan, a large, decorated scenes & characters measuring around 2 meters high & a meter wide
It is the Nai Nang's responsibility to act as an intermediary between the community and the gods, this the Nang & its producers are highly respected and greatly entwined into Thailand's cultural fibers.