Mak Yong: World Heritage Theatre by Ghulam-Sarwar Yousof
The ancient Mak Yong dance-theatre was designated by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2005. Mak Yong incorporates the elements of ritual, stylised dance and acting, vocal and instrumental music, song, story and formal as well as improvised spoken text. It is performed for both entertainment, as well as specific ritualistic healing functions, making it a mystical and sacred art. The art form is believed to have originated in the two provinces of Patani in southern Thailand and Kelantan in Malaysia on the east coast of the Malay Peninsula.
The UNESCO listing of Mak Yong was based on the candidature file prepared by Dr Ghulam-Sarwar Yousof. This will be the first authoritative book on Mak Yong which is based on a first-hand study of the performing art in its original social context. The book is lavishly illustrated with photographs taken during the author’s field work more than 30 years ago. A leading specialist in traditional Southeast Asian theatre, Dr Ghulam-Sarwar has written and edited more than a dozen books, including the authoritative Dictionary of Traditional Southeast Asian Theatre.
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