Nang Yai Shadow Puppet Drama at Wat Khanon, Ratchaburi, Thailand


Nang Yai Shadow Puppet Drama performances possibly already existed during the Sukhothai era. Certainly they were a leading form of entertainment during the Ayutthaya era. This typical Thai performing art remained popular throughout the early Rattanakosin era till at least the reign of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V).

Nang Yai Puppet, Wat Khanon, Ratchaburi


The Nang Yai Shadow Puppet Drama at Wat Khanon was first established during the reign of King Chulalongkorn. It now is the only important location for this form of entertainment in Thailand. However, the puppets are still meticulously maintained and produced, and the performers retain their high standards. The drama group from Wat Khanon performs throughout Thailand. The most popular drama performed is the Ramakien.

Nang Yai Puppet, Wat Khanon, Ratchaburi


To perform a puppet drama, the essential constituents are : a suitable venue (transparent screen and lighting), puppet figures, a musical ensemble, narrators and recitors, and of course the puppeteers and the story line.

Creating the puppet figures is an artform all by itself. Most of the puppets are created from cowhide. The more important figures however require skin of other animals such as leopard skin, bear skin etc.

Nang Yai Shadow Puppet Drama Performance at Wat Khanon, Ratchaburi


Wat Khanon in Ratchaburi province now also houses a nicely constructed Nang Yai Exhibition Hall. In an attractive way, quite a few puppets are on display. You can judge by the pictures here that they are truly exquisite works of art.

The information provided on this page has been sourced from leaflets distributed at the temple. Nang Yai Shadow Puppet Drama can be contacted at 03-223 3386, if you want to inquire about performances.

Nang Yai Puppet (detail), Wat Khanon, Ratchaburi