Jump to content

Lakhon Khol

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Lakhon Khol
Khmer Masked Theatre
Monkey character from Lakhon Khol
DomainsPerforming arts
RegionAsia and the Pacific
Inscription history
Inscription2018 (13th session)
ListLakhon Khol Wat Svay Andet Inscribed in 2018 (13.COM) on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding.

Lakhon Khol (Khmer: ល្ខោនខោល, Lkhaôn Khaôl; Khmer pronunciation: [lkʰaon kʰaol])[1] or Khmer Masked Theatre is a dance drama genre that is performed in Cambodia.


Lakhon Khol is a traditional theatre performance of Cambodia. Mask theatre of Cambodia having its origins during the Angkor period. It is believed to have begun during the 10th century through the inscription K.99 Sambor Prei Kuk temple in the reign of King Jayavarman V (CE 968-1001).[2] Lakhon Khol is believed to be a derivative of the Drama, acronym in the High Priest's Dictionary Chuon Nath. That short forms can be interpreted as a form of drama, played out in a series of short stories. The word Khol Is encountered in a number of other rocks, such as K.566-a a rock above the Stung Sreng Siem Reap province inscribed at the end of the 10th century Which refers to wearing a mask dance. The theatrical drama was developed from the Khmer shadow theatre called "Lakhon Sbeak Thom; Khmer: ល្ខោនស្បែកធំ”.[3] Lakhon Khol was recorded by Henri Mouhot at a restaurant dinner with a dance performance in the Royal Palace in the city Oudong with King Ang Duong in 1856.[4] [5] Until the Royal King Sisowath, the royal dance in the form of dance was frequently performed for French diplomats or anthropologists to be entertained by the love of Khmer classical dance.George Groslier compiled the diary "Danseuses Cambodgiennes, Anciennes & Modernes" 1913.[6] Royal dance in the form of Lakhon Khol means that the king royal dance is a form of dance masks. The evolution of Cambodian dance art is linked to nature, social class, and Brahmin religion, the original religion of the country India, Hindu religion, which is related to the story incorporated into the art of Cambodian dance, the liveliness of Cambodian dances are recorded by George Coedes (La dance du Cambodge) in 1944.[7]

Lakhon Khol reappeared once again in the 20th century in King Sisowath and continued to King Norodom Sihanouk in 1948, after the end of the World War II by organizing a rehearsal Initially, he visited the Vegetable History at (Lakhon Khol Wat Svay Andet) in Kandal Province, which performed theatrical theatre for rainfall and peace to the community every year. The visit to Norodom Sihanouk 's Wat Svay Andet masked dance theatre was published in 1948 as the first magazine in the journal "Kampuchea Soriya" by Tep Pitur Chhim Krasem or Duke of (Krosem Kuntheak Bondit).[8] In the Soriya Magazine (March 3, 1948), the 3rd edition was published in March 1948, titled "The Lakhon Khol Wat Svay Andet" and stated in the NPL "The theatre is limited to the only thing related to Hinduism. Which only plays for the divinities of divisions, such as Reamker and some other things." Later, there was a Giant with Hanuman statue iconic Lakhon Khol In Phnom Penh in 1954, after independence from France, but the statue lost and instead the Chuon Nath statue still remains.

Lakhon Khol performance

Another specific story of the theatrical performance is the Reamker, the Khmer legend of the Ramayana. The performance includes an introduction to storytellers who play an important role in the performance and classical music of the Pin Peat. The theatre was popular in the Lon Nol era, and then became King Sihanouk's favourite wife. There were eight teams of specialist theatre and then ravaged by war, but now only one group is at Wat Svay Andet, 15 km (9.3 mi) away from Phnom Penh. Two new groups started in the war, including the Kampong Thom and National Theater troupes from the Department of Fine Arts and the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts. And now the drama is also part of the schedule of studies at the University of Fine Arts. Lakhon Khol was Inscribed in a tentative list of UNESCO intangible culture heritage as Urgent safeguarding on March 31, 2017, by the Ministry of culture and fine art.

On November 28, 2018, Lkhon Khol Wat Svay Andet was included in the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding of UNESCO.[9][10]

Lakhon Khol Characters[edit]

Lakhon Khol Art painting

Lakhon Khol Characters is divided into 4 forms types of masks actors

Devas Characters[edit]

Devas Casting Color Characters Character type
Ream as Rama  
Preah Leak as Lakshmana  
Seyda as Sita  

19 Monkeys General Characters[edit]

19 Monkeys General Casting Color Characters Character type
Hanuman   Commander of the Monkey Army

Asura Characters[edit]

Asura Casting Color Characters Character type
Krong Reap as Ravana   King of The Lanka City

Animals Creatures Characters[edit]

Animal Casting Color Characters Character type
Tupi   King of Buffalo

The Group Local of Lakhon Khol[edit]

Lakhon Khol Mask dance battle of Reamker A scene fighting between Rama and Ravana performed in the courtyard of the Silver Pagoda Phnom Penh, c. 1900s~1920s

See also[edit]



  • Carol A. Mortland, et al. (1994). Cambodian Culture since 1975:Homeland and Exile, Cornell University Press
  • Theatre in Southeast Asia, by James R. Brandon (Cambridge, MA Harvard University Press 1967)
  • Theatre in the East, by Faubion Bowers (New York T. Nelson 1956)
  • The Cambridge Guide to Theater, by Martin Banham (Cambridge University Press)
  • Dictionary of Traditional Southeast Asian Theatre by Ghulam-Sarwar Yousof.(Oxford University Press. 1994.)
  • Sasagawa, Hideo (2005). Post/colonial Discourses on the Cambodian Court Dance[permanent dead link], Southeast Asian Studies, Vol. 42, No. 4, March 2005


  1. ^ "SEAlang Dictionary". www.sealang.net. Retrieved 2023-10-15.
  2. ^ Sambor Prei Kuk stone inscription K.99 Talk about the 50 people sent to Angkor City for a servant at Royal Palace and only 6 people in the group move to home dance Khol.
  3. ^ "Steong-Sreng" Siem Reap stone inscription K.566-a said the face Khol theatre.(Saka 901 = A.D.979)
  4. ^ Henri Mouhot: "Travel in Indochina 1848-1856, The Annam and Cambodia"
  5. ^ Paul Cravath (May 2008). From Earth in Flower: The Divine Mystery of the Cambodian Dance Drama. DatAsia, 2007. pp. 514–. ISBN 978-1-934431-28-3.
  6. ^ George Groslier (1913). From Danseuses Cambodgiennes, Anciennes & Modernes. A. Challamel, 1913. pp. 178–.
  7. ^ Paul Cravath (Autumn 1986). From Asian Theatre Journal- The Ritual Origins of the Classical Dance Drama of Cambodia. University of Hawai'i Press on behalf of Association for Asian Performance (AAP) of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE). pp. 179–203. JSTOR 1124400.
  8. ^ Cambodia scholarship of Cambodia culture Founder Buddhist Institute of Cambodia 1930
  9. ^ "Lakhon Khol gets Unesco Heritage status - The Nation". The Nation. Retrieved 2018-11-29.
  10. ^ "Intangible Heritage: Seven elements inscribed on the List in Need of Urgent Safeguarding". UNESCO. 28 November 2018. Retrieved 2018-11-29.
  11. ^ "Royal ballet of Cambodia - intangible heritage - Culture Sector - UNESCO". ich.unesco.org. Retrieved 2017-08-01.
  12. ^ "Intangible Heritage: Cambodia will receive financial support for the urgent safeguarding of Chapei Dang Veng musical tradition - intangible heritage - Culture Sector - UNESCO". ich.unesco.org. Retrieved 2017-08-01.
  13. ^ "Royal ballet of Cambodia - intangible heritage - Culture Sector - UNESCO". ich.unesco.org. Retrieved 2017-08-01.
  14. ^ "Search within UNESCO ICH website - intangible heritage - Culture Sector - UNESCO". ich.unesco.org. Retrieved 2017-08-01.