This is a Large Sterling Silver Siamese (Thailand )Dancer Pin / Brooch.
She represents a Dancer / Performer from The Royal Classical Dance Drama of Siam ( Thailand ).
This pin has fantastic detail on it! She is wearing a traditional costume, has long brass fingernail extensions, her Headdress is a Tall Single - Spire Crown, silver bangles on her wrists, a small round bulbous lighted candle in her hand. The Pin measures 3 & 1/4" tall and 2 & 1/2" across the widest point. It is great condition and is Marked on the back " Sterling Made in Siam ". The Country of Siam was renamed " Thailand " in 1939.
The most famous traditional Thai dance is called Khon. Khon is dance drama, a dance that tells a story. Khon stories are based on the Ramakien, the Thai version of the Indian story Ramayana. It is a huge story told in verse of the triumph of good over evil. In the ancient capital, Ayuttaya, khon was performed only in the Royal palace, and the story might continue over several nights.
All the characters wear elaborate costumes with gold and jewels and many wear ornate papier mache masks as well.
There are over 100 characters in Khon, and the intricate movements can take almost ten years to learn. The gestures and poses are stiff and formal. There are set positions and gestures to show each emotion. A narrator tells the story from the side of the stage, although most Thai people know the stories well.
In ancient times, Khon was considered to be so strenuous that only men performed it. Today however, only short sections from khon are performed by both men and women. Khon is no longer exclusive to the palace, but is seen at the National Theatre and other places.
More commonly seen is traditional dance called fawn Thai, performed by women. In ancient times of Siam, these dances were only performed for the Royal court. There are five forms of this style of dance, usually performed by four to six pairs of dancers, but on special occasions by hundreds.
The movements are varied, and are different in each region of Thailand, but are generally slow with short steps. The dancers sway the upper part of their bodies or shoulders. The way the dancers move together is more important than telling a story.
In different forms of the dance, dancers have different decoration or accessories. In one style, fawn tian, the dancers hold lighted candles in each hand; in fawn leb, the dancers wear long brass extensions to their fingers, in others they use scarves of different lengths or strings of flowers.
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