Shadow puppet, Thotsakan wooing Nang Sida

'Nang yai' is a form of shadow puppetry, one of Thailand’s traditional dramatic arts that combine a number of different artistic skills. It performs episodes from the Ramakien, the Thai telling of the Ramayana.This scene takes place in a pavilion setting. Here, Totsagan (Ravana) is trying to win Sida's (Sita) attentions to no avail. In Ramakien, Sida is actually Totsagan's daughter, although unknown to both of them.The puppet was carved from cattle hide, which was decorated with carved designs and painted with natural pigments. The designs were based on the old puppets that belonged to the temple.The puppets are manipulated by puppeteers who carry them in front and behind the screen so that both the puppet and its shadow can be seen.

Indigenous Name
Nang Yai
20th century
Wat Kanon, Ratchburi province, Thailand
Object size: H:176.0 x W:125.2
Accession No.
Collection of
Asian Civilisations Museum
Theatre Artefacts