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Shadow puppet of Rama, from the Thai version of the epic of Rama
Place of Origin: Thailand
Date: 1900-1950
Materials: Hide with pigments and wood
Dimensions: H. 70 3/4 in x W. 26 1/2 in, H. 179.7 cm x W. 67.3 cm
Credit Line: Gift of the Randall Museum Friends
Department: Southeast Asian Art
Collection: Theatrical Arts
Object Number: 2010.534
On Display: No

More Information

Exhibition History: "The Rama Epic: Hero, Heroine, Ally, Foe," Asian Art Museum, October 21, 2015–January 15, 2017
Additional Label:

Rama wears princely garments and a crown, as he usually does in Thai visual and performing arts, rather than the ascetic’s garb of one exiled to the forest often seen in Indian depictions. He carries the bow and arrow that he is so skilled at using.

Thai shadow puppets of the type called in Thai “large puppet” have no moving parts. Each is held by a performer who carries it, with dancing steps, back and forth. Each performer’s movements and stances must be appropriate to the particular character, and so for Rama, both heroic and refined. Puppets are held in front of a white cloth screen lighted by lamps or a bonfire. The silhouette of the puppet registers strongly, and is enriched by the elaborate perforation and the colors that have been applied to the translucent hide.

(Exhibition Label from The Rama Epic: Hero, Heroine, Ally, Foe)


Exhibition History: "The Rama Epic: Hero, Heroine, Ally, Foe," Asian Art Museum, October 21, 2015–January 15, 2017
Expanded Label:

Rama wears princely garments and a crown, as he usually does in Thai visual and performing arts, rather than the ascetic’s garb of one exiled to the forest often seen in Indian depictions. He carries the bow and arrow that he is so skilled at using.

Thai shadow puppets of the type called in Thai “large puppet” have no moving parts. Each is held by a performer who carries it, with dancing steps, back and forth. Each performer’s movements and stances must be appropriate to the particular character, and so for Rama, both heroic and refined. Puppets are held in front of a white cloth screen lighted by lamps or a bonfire. The silhouette of the puppet registers strongly, and is enriched by the elaborate perforation and the colors that have been applied to the translucent hide.

(Exhibition Label from The Rama Epic: Hero, Heroine, Ally, Foe)