Sunday 28 April 2013

Shadow Play, Thailand

A set of stamps from the edition 'Amazing Thailand' 1998-1999

This beautiful set presents the Thai shadow theatre called Nang yai (Thai: หนังใหญ่), i.e. the puppets used while creating the shadow play. The main components of Nang Yai are a 6 by 16 white screen held by four bamboo or wood poles on each side. The screen is trimmed by red strip. Behind the screen strands a tinder or a bonfire lit up to reflect the shadows of the puppet. During the course of the show there is a Thai music band that plays music in accordance with each episode of the performance.

The puppet figures are made from perforated cow or buffalo hide, each weighing about three or fourkilograms. The biggest puppet is one which characterizes a place, weighing around five to seven kilograms. This is what the practical side of this would look like:

I have chosen this cover for today's Sunday Stamps, as we can choose anything we like for the theme - and this is one of the covers I really wanted to show for a while. Thank you Nina for yet another beautiful Thai cover :) What have others posted? Click here:



  1. Amazing detail and patterns, what a great cover to receive!

  2. How interesting, I've seen shadow puppets but these are very different, unique.

  3. First Thai stamps I've seen. Gorgeous patterns.

  4. Wow. Amazing indeed. Not more to say. Thank you so much for sharing these.

  5. I have also seen shadow puppets (though not in Thailand) but they were nothing like this!