Chapter

The <i>Rāmāyaṇa</i> in the Arts of Thailand and Cambodia

Mandakranta Bose

in The Ramayana Revisited

Published in print October 2004 | ISBN: 9780195168327
Published online April 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199835362 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195168321.003.0014
 The Rāmāyaṇa in the Arts of Thailand and Cambodia

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This chapter examins the place of the Rāmāyana in the performing arts and traditions of Thailand and Cambodia, tracing their roots, evolution, and impact on contemporary cultural and social life. While the epic has been the single richest source of inspiration for sculpture, it has a a more dynamic relationship with the indigenous cultures of Southeast Asia in dance dramas. Although these performance forms are deeply rooted in the original Indian narrative, their plot and characters are altered to fit the literary and artistic traditions of Thai-Khmer culture. This has occasionally resulted in deviations from the Indian sources in plot and character, leading to different ethical points of view.

Keywords: Thailand; Cambodia; Rāmāyana; performing arts

Chapter.  4559 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Hinduism

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