Thai Puppets & Khon Masks
Elaborately gilded masks worn by dancers performing in the popular Ramayana dance drama are an enduring symbol of Thai culture. Since their introduction in the late eighteenth century, many hundreds of thousands of masks have been produced by skilled craftsmen. Less well-known as an art form, the history of Thai puppetry dates back to 17th century Ayutthaya when large, metre-high puppets were used to relate popular folk tales. Today practitioners of this art form are becoming scarce, as are the finely crafted puppets themselves.