The elaborate costumes worn by the performers are one of the major attractions of Thai classical dance. In addition to exquisitely embroidered garments, the dancers wear spired crowns, called chada.
A discussion of the Thai dance tradition would not be complete without a mention of lakorn nok (literally outer theatre). While scholars may dispute whether it qualifies as 'classical', the genre nonetheless uses elements of the classical tradition, such as costumes and dance postures, and the palace itself has at times has its own troupe of lakorn nok performers. The more likely venue for these performances, however, is the temple fair in a rural area. Fantastic folk tales such as Sang Thong, which tells of a hero born in a conch shell, the son of a queen, but raised by a demoness, fill the hearts of the young and old with mystery and awe, and provide a link with their ancient cultural traditions.
From the rarefied confines of the royal chambers to the dusty compounds of isolated villages, Thailand's rich tradition of dance drama brings inspiration and joy to all who witness it. But Thailand's most venerated theatre tradition is the enactment of the ancient Indian mythological tale, the Ramayana. In Thailand it is known as the Ramakien.