Lakhon khol

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Lakhon khol (also romanized as lkhaon khaol; Khmer: ល្ខោនខោល) is a masked dance theatre that features enactment of the Reamker.[1] Following the Siam capture of the capital at Longvek in 1593 under King Naresuan, Cambodian royals were taken hostage and relocated at the court of Ayutthaya, kept under permanent Siamese influence and left to compromise and out-compete each other under the overlord's scrutiny. It was during this time that the Siamese dance was adopted as part of the performing arts of the Cambodian Court of Oudong, but due to lack of skills and craftsmanship in imitating the high art, the mask making, dance and costumes are rougher and not as well proportioned as the refined version of the drama, the Royal Khon of the Siamese. After losing the support of the royal court in the 19th century, the lakhon khol troupe of the Court of Oudong disseminated throughout the country. In the 20th century, it was performed by village troupes during the Cambodian New Year celebrations, with the Wat Svay Andet troupe being the most renowned.[1] Due to nationalist sentiment, the Khol is often mistaken and argued erroneously to be native to Cambodia.

The form is structured as a combination of dance, chanted narration, and mimed gesture, all performed accompanied by pin peat music. [2] [3]

See also



  • Carol A. Mortland, et al. (1994). Cambodian Culture since 1975:Homeland and Exile, Cornell University Press


  1. ^ a b William Lobban, chapter four
  2. ^ Toni Shapiro-Phim, "Lakhon Knol" in Samuel L. Leitner, Encycloppedia of Asian Theatre Westport & London: Greenwood Press, 2007. ISBN 0-313-33529-X vol. 1, pp. 367-368
  3. ^ Sam-Ang Sam "Cambodia" in New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2nd ed., 2001.vol. 4 pp. 861-863
  4. ^ "Royal ballet of Cambodia - intangible heritage - Culture Sector - UNESCO". Retrieved 2017-08-01. 
  5. ^ "Intangible Heritage: Cambodia will receive financial support for the urgent safeguarding of Chapei Dang Veng musical tradition - intangible heritage - Culture Sector - UNESCO". Retrieved 2017-08-01. 
  6. ^ "Royal ballet of Cambodia - intangible heritage - Culture Sector - UNESCO". Retrieved 2017-08-01. 
  7. ^ "Search within UNESCO ICH website - intangible heritage - Culture Sector - UNESCO". Retrieved 2017-08-01. 

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