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Diadem for a classical dancer
Place of Origin: Thailand
Date: approx. 1950-1960
Materials: Silver, glass, ferrous metal, paper, and cloth
Dimensions: H. 11 in x W. 9 in x D. 4 in, H. 27.9 cm x W. 22.9 cm x D. 10.2 cm
Credit Line: Gift from Doris Duke Charitable Foundation's Southeast Asian Art Collection
Department: Southeast Asian Art
Collection: Theatrical Arts
Object Number: 2006.27.10.6
On Display: No

Description

Label:

[label text refers to three related objects, 2006.27.10.6, 2006.27.10.8.A-.D, and 2006.27.10.10.A-.F]

When enacted in Siamese classical dance, Rama and Sita (hero and heroine of the Rama epic) wear ornate costumes and headdresses. The costumes resemble a Siamese king's full ceremonial garb (such as coronation attire). The higher the multitiered gold crown, which tapers to the spire, the more important the character is in the story. Lower-ranking female roles, such as those of princesses, wear tiaras.

Before the actors and actresses dance, they pay homage to respected teachers and spirits. They place their headdresses, diadems, masks, and musical instruments on an altar along with offerings such as flowers and garlands. After the offering ceremony, the performers put their headdresses on and tuck a fresh flower behind one ear.

These headdresses have tags inside indicating that they came from Narasin, a well-known classical dance paraphernalia store located near the National Theater in Bangkok. They most likely were purchased in the 1950s.


More Information

Exhibition History: "Emerald Cities: Arts of Siam and Burma" Asian Art Museum, October 23, 2009 - January 10, 2010
Label:

[label text refers to three related objects, 2006.27.10.6, 2006.27.10.8.A-.D, and 2006.27.10.10.A-.F]

When enacted in Siamese classical dance, Rama and Sita (hero and heroine of the Rama epic) wear ornate costumes and headdresses. The costumes resemble a Siamese king's full ceremonial garb (such as coronation attire). The higher the multitiered gold crown, which tapers to the spire, the more important the character is in the story. Lower-ranking female roles, such as those of princesses, wear tiaras.

Before the actors and actresses dance, they pay homage to respected teachers and spirits. They place their headdresses, diadems, masks, and musical instruments on an altar along with offerings such as flowers and garlands. After the offering ceremony, the performers put their headdresses on and tuck a fresh flower behind one ear.

These headdresses have tags inside indicating that they came from Narasin, a well-known classical dance paraphernalia store located near the National Theater in Bangkok. They most likely were purchased in the 1950s.


Exhibition History: "Emerald Cities: Arts of Siam and Burma" Asian Art Museum, October 23, 2009 - January 10, 2010