See our Article on the Phi Ta Khon festival under Observations.
See our Blog posts on the Phi Ta Khon festival in Dan Sai.
This beautiful mask uses the same mode of decoration as AO269: individually carved and painted wood pieces, carefully fitted to form attractive, Thai-style decoration. The nose is wood with carved wood embellishment. An elegant black enamel background is enhanced subtly with glitter, and the bright red mouth provides a nice contrast. We like the toothy smile, too.
Size: 28.75″ h x 19″ w
This mask, and AO266, were both made by K. Attipat, a young artist with a gift for painting. He has used bright colors in enamel to decorate this mask with a winged theme, but has then painted fine texture to enrich and tone down the color. The teeth are subtly shaded for a menacing three-dimensional effect. A painted wood nose resembles an elephant trunk from the side and is covered in Thai-style designs. The ‘ears’ are nicely done with the flamelike designs cut out, and then painted. We thought this one a good example of the painted style of mask.
Size: 38.75″ h x 19.75″ w
By the same young artist as AO265, this mask is more bold in its design and simpler in rendition. It does have an erotic aspect tho, and the nose directly refers to an elephant with trunk as well as tusks. The mouth is particularly menacing, and the ears are nicely cut out flame designs. K. Attipat’s workmanship is superb with a high level of finish evident.
Size: 35″ h x 20.25″ w
Unique in its technique, this mask is decorated using a composite ‘dough’ made of sawdust with a binder to form the many shapes, from the fanciful eyebrows, to the teeth, to even the background ‘scales’, and the fine curling patterns on the hat. The nose is unusual as well, being wood with the designs cut out almost like an architectural decorative embellishment. Older than the other masks, it has a bit of mildew staining on the hat, but we thought the unusual design of this one surpassed this one flaw.
Size: 37.5″ h x 28″ w
This is a complete ensemble of: mask, jumpsuit, belt with bells, and baby ‘Phi Ta Khon’ doll. The workmanship is very nice on all components, with this being the most intricate mask in our collection. Individually carved wood pieces, glued to a base, fit very carefully to form the decoration including “Phi Ta Khon Dan Sai” written in Thai (see ‘mask detail’). The nose is an elephant head and trunk of carved and painted wood. The top of the jumpsuit has fabric with little woven elephants, and the back has an iron-on image of two ‘phi ta khon’. The belt has bells plus a gold-painted gourd (possibly for holding rice wine). Most charming is the doll, with a small, smiling mask, and outfit with fringe and the Thai words for “phi ta khon” , plus small sandals and socks. This whole group was nicely turned out and this was one of their best outfits.
Sizes: Mask: 34″ x 18.5″; Outfit: 59″ across arms x 65.5″ long x 22.75″ (45.5″ circumference) @ waist; Belt: 38.5″ long; Doll: 40″ tall.
If you need a costume to escort your kids in a bad neighborhood at Halloween, this is it! The mask is a horned head made of papier mache painted with enamel, and framed with wool yarn hair. Numerous, pointed teeth surround the mouth and a baby doll’s leg provides that ‘je ne sais quoi’. The outfit comprises a shirt and pants covered with layers of fringe, plus a belt with three large, painted bells. A moveable, double ‘palad khik’ ingeniously made from a tree branch and wire completes the ensemble. This group clearly had a lot of fun coordinating their presentation. (Sorry, but we were unable to get the baby doll ogre.)
Sizes: Mask: 22″ from chin to point between horns x 19″ @ bottom, front to back; Shirt: 64.5″ across arms x 28″ high; Pants: 41″ long x 47″ circumference @ hips (elastic waist range: 24″ x 44″); Belt: 35″ long; Palad Khik: 20.75″ long.