August 15, 2017

3124 THAILAND - Traditional Thai puppets

The Thai puppetry dates back at least 300 years, the earliest recorded account of it being in 1685. Shows were often performed for the monarchy and were extremely popular during King Taksin's reign in the late 1700s. Around 1895 was first mentioned a new form of puppetry, Hun Krabok (hun means puppet, while krabok describes a type of wood which is hollow, such as the bamboo), which became shortly a popular forms of entertainmen.

Unfortunately, the puppet play seems to have lost its appeal after the year 1925 or shortly thereafter, only to regain its popularity when Khun Chakrabhand Posayyakrit, one of the most famous artists in Thailand reintroduced it to the public in a successful performance at the National Theatre in 1975. This art form has seen a huge comeback with the construction of Nattayasala Hun Lakhon Lek (Joe Louis Thai Puppet Theatre), the first Thai puppetry theatre in Bangkok.

Three puppeteers are each responsible for puppet’s different functions: one oversees the head and left arm, a second controls the right arm and a third controls the feet. These puppeteers normally wear all black and oftentimes put on masks to make their presence felt less by the audience. Most puppets have a full torso with arms and legs, and some can even be manipulated to move their fingers. Some are made to look like kohn dancers.

Six main types of Thai puppets that are used in puppetry performances: Hun Krakok, Hun Luang or Hun Yai (The Great Puppet), Hun Lakorn Lek, Hun Wang Na (Palace of the Front’s puppet), Nang Talung (Shadow Puppet), and Nang Yai (Large Shadow Puppet). Hun krabok are half-bodied puppets, which means they don’t have legs. Hun luang are normally used in shows put on for the monarchy; hun wang na replicate the royal puppets and so are rarely used in performances. Hun lakhon lek is a smaller, simplified puppet created by Kru Krae Suppawanich.

About the stamps

The second stamp was issued on December 16, 1996 to mark Thailand's First Olympic Gold Medal.

The last stamp is one of the four which form the series International Letter Writting Week, issued on October 7, 2000.

About Thai Puppet (Hun Thai) - The Royal Thai Embassy, Oslo
Hun Krabok, Thai Puppet Show - Asia-Pacific Database on Intangible Cultural Heritage
Traditional Thai Puppet Theater, Show, Bangkok, Thailand -
All You Need to Know About the History of the Thai Puppet Theatre, by Kelly Iverson -
Hun krabok - Wikipedia
Hun lakhon lek - Wikipedia

Sender: Pumipat
Sent from Bangkok (Bangkok / Thailand), on 14.07.2017                                                         

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