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The first Lakohn Duekdumban’s stage appearance was in 1899 AD on the occasion of Prince Henry’s visit to Thailand. (Prince Henry was the brother of the King of Prussia.) The Thai Opera was well-accepted and maintained its popularity until 1909 AD. After its strong running for ten years, Lakohn Duekdumban had to close its curtain when Chao Phraya Tewatewongwiwat resigned from his position due to his health problems.

Lakohn Duekdumban was very different from other types of traditional Lakohn which were mentioned earlier. It was much more realistic in terms of the dialogue, the actors’ movement, and the set. Stories depicted in Lakohn Duekdumban were such as Sung Thong, Kawi, Inao, Sungsilpchai, Krungphanchomtaveep, Rammakien, Unnarut, Maneephichai, Sakuntala, Taosaanpom, Phrakietiroth, Song Korawik, Chantakinnaree, and Phra Yotkate.

Nang Sib Song ( The Twelve Maidens )

Once upon a time, there was a wealthy man named Nont. He wished for a child so he prayed to gods and offered 12 bananas to them. After a while, his wife became pregnant one after another and gave birth to a total of 12 girls. The couple raised their children until his wealth had run out. As they were not able to raise the 12 maidens any longer, they decided to leave all of them in the forest.

The Twelve Maidens were lost in the deep forest. They wandered into a garden belonging to a giantess named Sonthamarn. As the Giantess felt affection for the Twelve Maidens, she took care of all of them.

Nang Sib Song ( The Twelve Maidens continued )

One day the Twelve Maidens found out that they were living with a giantess, they became fearful for their lives. The Twelve Maidens ran away from the Giantess to Kutaranakorn where they met King Rothsithi, the ruler of the City. King Rothsithi fell for the Twelve Maidens and made all of them his consorts.

Shortly afterwards, Giantess Sonthamarn became aware of the Twelve Maidens’ whereabouts. Irate and vengeful, Giantess Sonthamarn travelled to Kutaranakorn disguised herself as a stunningly beautiful lady. King Rothsithi fell in love with the disguised Giantess Sonthamarn and made her his leading consort.

Out of malice towards the Twelve Maidens, the Giantess feigned illness and asked King Rothsithi for the Twelve Maidens’ eyes to cure her illness. King Rothsithi completely believed the Giantess and ordered his soldiers to scoop out all the Twelve Maiden’s eyes for his beloved wife.

The soldier took both eyes from 11 of the Maidens. Pao, the youngest of the maidens, was spared one eye. Giantess Sonthamarn pretended to have fully recovered after her wish was fulfilled. She sent the Twelve Maidens’ eyes to Mearee, her daughter who lived at Kachapuranakorn.

Ayutthaya Klong Sa Bua Floating Market & Water Theatre

44 Moo 5 Tambol Klong Sabua, Amphor Phranakorn Sri Ayutthaya, Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand,

Ayutthaya Floating Market, Page 18, The Water Theatre, Lakohn Nai and Kakohn Duekdumban Opera. Ayutthaya Floating Market, Page 20, The Water Theatre, Nang Sib Song ( The Twelve Maidens )