Nang Yai literally means “large shadow puppet.” It is one of cultural heritage and is praised as a hi – class Entertainment performance. It represents thai cultural heritage that blends a lot of branches of precious arts, for example, handicraft arts, dramatically arts, musical arts, and literal arts.

Punching Tools In the old days, an umbrella stem was used for nailing a pattern while it currently modifies using “ Moog ” or “ Dtood-dtoo ” [nailer] instead. The said tool is Hardly available for buying because No. 17 nailer is the smallest size for punching holes on leather belts. Using the nailer for hair hides needs a bigger size and it cannot use like nailing on general leather belts as you need to sharpen the nailer top to be very small enough in creating a neat close-small hole and clear-hole lines. This process is time-consuming as from 20 puppets that have made; in fact, only 1-2 puppets are acceptable.

Handicraft arts : You can see from the design of each character which represents Personality and deep mood, or graceful thai patterns which represents national unique, as well as Meticulous pattern carving which narrates the exquisiteness on each hide. Dramatical arts : You can notice from Graceful gestures of puppet players who acts Each characters according to the theme. This inspires the movement of normal shadow play to be in harmonious with the rhythm of music as if their liveliness can draw a bow of viewers to enjoy the Stories.

Musical arts : You can feel from music making, rhythm and beat of the orchestra that attracts viewers to enjoy along the performance, such as excitement, anger, grief, love, and lamentation. Literal arts : The pattern designers need to cleary understand the theme in order to express the gesture and mood according to the story. Also, they need to be imbued the melodious dialogue of the story and need to have ability of composing a novel in order to entertain as well as Interpolate moral and needs to viewers according to the perfect literature theme.


It is said that ancient entertainment has been created since the Sukhothai period. After the Kingdom of Thailand lost the city to Burma and has been renovated, however, this king of treasure is hardy seen because of a lot of hi-technology retreats the popularity in the cultural heritage. Most of craftsmen gave up as well as the social value has been affected by the material development. The puppets are then modified and improved their styles to be more elaborate and blended with natural thai patterns. However, existing evidence goes back to the Ayuttaya period during the reign of King U-Thong, when it was considered a very popular dramatic art form. Nowadays, they are available for sales at various markets and festivals, and are used in daily life, performances, great souvenirs or the decorate homes. Still, they remain the value of creative arts

Where to see

Wat Khanon (Khanon Temple) in Ratchaburi Province – more than 300 rare Nang Yai puppets are well preserved at this temple, some 10 km from Amphoe Photharam. The performance is usually demonstrated on Saturday from 10.00-11.00 a.m.

Wat Sawang Arom Nang Yai Conservation Cultural Center (Sawang Arom Temple) in Singburi Province - A collection of 300 Nang Yai or shadow play figures at this temple is considered the most complete in Thailand. The center located in town which open daily from 09.00-16.00 on weekday and 08.30-17.00 on weekend 

Source: The Golden Jupilee Network / National Culture Commission in Ministry of Culture / Isuan / Mari Mari