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Ramayana dances (Bamar)

In 1767, King Hsinbyushin of the Konbaung dynasty brought back Siamese captives to the Inwa (Ava), the kingdom’s capital. Among the captives were Siamese court dancers who performed the Ramayana (Yama Zatdaw) wearing masks.

     In this epic, Rama is the hero and chief character, Sita is the heroine, and Dasa-Giri is the villain demon. In a typical segment, Rama is enticed away by the Golden Deer, who is a transmogrified form of the demon sister of Dathagiri (Ravana). Dathagiri himself is metamorphed as a Hermit. Rama is then seen gravely following the tracks of the alluring Deer. The Deer leaves subtle hints as a trail.

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