Costumes and Masks

The depths of the Royal Theatre contain the most beautiful collection of Lao masks, almost one hundred masks are delicately arranged in large glass cases where one must peer in to see all the sleeping characters.

The beauty of the Royal Theatre of Luang Prabang reawakens the extraordinary talent of Mr Manivong Khattignarath who, with Mr Chaleunsilp Phia Sing, designed the golden bas reliefs on the exterior walls of the coach house of Wat Xieng Thong, the temple situated at the extremity of the peninsula of the small city.  These pictorial works show the characters of the Lao Ramayana.

This ancient art is preserved thanks to several persons who learned with the ancient artists.  Some lost plaster casts used for creating the masks have been recently extracted from the cellars of the palace in order to study them.

The masks are made of a papier mâché base and are then moulded with fine plaster, paint and varnish.  Diverse decorative techniques are utilised.

Soon on this website we be able to demonstrate how the masks are made as well as the method of making various costumes.