Nang Ta lung

The main actors of Nang Talung.

Inside Ban Nang Talung Museum.
Nang Ta lung is one traditional Thai theatre using the shadow of puppets in acting. In the old days, This kind of play has ever been held in many civilized countries such as Egypt, Turkey, Greek, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand especially in every part of country. When time changed, Nang Ta lung is found only in southern Thailand.
Formally, the performance of Nang Ta lung was depicted from the story of Ramakien of Hindu in India. Then it was revised in order to suit the popularity of the audiences and time such as its content, hero and heroine and musical instrument. This performance consists of a chief and manipulators of puppets. The choef will conceal behind a brilliantly backlit white screen made of cloth. His function is to provide dialogues for every puppet and also recite the story in verse while the play is proceeding.
Presently, either hero, heroine or demon will be only the complementary performers of the play while the joker becames a favourite performer of audiences. It is believed that the characters of joker immitate from the real life of human who has special personality and a queer gestures that create lots of humour. Generally, Nang Ta lung is made of cowhide which is easily found and has good quality. Every piece of Nang Ta lung is given life by the chief. He will insert his feeling and emotion on the puppet by the verse he sings during the play.
Nowadays Nang Ta lung is still found at southern Thailand especially at the house of Uncle Suchat Sapsin in Nakhon Si Thammarat province. Besides being the museum of Nang Ta lung, this house also displays many kinds of tools of local people.

Napapan Tivatitporn (Story), Yutthachai Ketnoo (Ploto), Nang Talung The Art of the Shadow play, Siam Smile Airport Magazine, July 1997, P.62-66