Surin Khmer Yikay : Performing Art Heritage of Khmer Community in Thailand

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Pongsatorn Yoddumnean
Anukoon Rotjanasuksomboon


The research article, Surin Khmer Yikay : Performing Art Heritage of Khmer Community in Thailand, aims to preserve and disseminate the Surin Khmer Yikay performance. This is a qualitative research which focuses on history, performing style, composition, conservation and dissemination of the show.

The results of the research showed that Khmer Yikay Khmer is a performing art that has been influenced by many ways. From when the Yikay performance was adopted into the Khmer community until now, its pattern and style have been changed to better suit the people and culture. Khmer Yikay has a unique style of performance by using Khmer language. It’s main characters consist of lead actors, lead actresses, miscellaneous characters and supporting characters performing behind the main actors.

The music is mainly played with a bassinet to make a melody and a tambourine drum for the rhythm. The costumes are different according to each character and role. The lead actors and actresses wear a Jada or a high crown, the supporting characters wear a small crown and the miscellaneous characters have their masks covering their faces according to different roles such as hermit, giant or monkey, all performers dressed in local fabric. The show begins with circling to worship in teachers, self-introducing singing and dancing, proceeding singing and flirtation and singing farewell songs to end the performance. Popular stories presented include Thao Promthat Suriyawong, etc.

The Khmer Yikay show was very popular. There have been many Khmer Yikay faculty in Surin Province. Unfortunately, its popularity has decreased significantly due to the emergence of other shows, the influence of television and movies, and the lack of inheritance. Nowadays, Khmer Yikay is mostly performed only for demonstrations.  The key factor is that the number of those who still perform Khmer Yikay are very few as they age.  Education for conservation and publishing is therefore important before Khmer Yikay depleats and fades over time together with the life of the artists.

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How to Cite
Yoddumnean, P. ., & Rotjanasuksomboon, A. (2021). Surin Khmer Yikay : Performing Art Heritage of Khmer Community in Thailand. Journal of Fine and Applied Arts Khon Kaen University, 13(2), 223–243. Retrieved from
Research Articles


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