Main Article Content
The purposes of this qualitative research were: 1) to study a historical background, components, roles, and values of the Prasat Yai-Ngao; and 2) to develop the performing arts based on the Prasat Yai-Ngao sacrificial ritual. Data were collected through a documentary study, a field study, a participatory observation, and an in-depth interview. The key informants of this study were gurus, practitioners, and general people who live at Ban Poon-sai in Sop sub-district, Sangkha district, Surin province. The collected data were analyzed and findings were presented descriptively. The study found that:
- Prasat Yai-Ngao originates from the fright of supernatural power. Therefore, local people held a ritual to sacrifice with an expectation to have something as returns such as seasonal rain, free from danger and sickness, and living together happily. When everything goes according to people’s expectations, a sacrificial ritual is hold to express their gratitude to the spirit of Yai-Ngao in Prasat Yai-Ngao. Leaders of the sacrificial ritual are Buddhist monks and local philosophers. Participants of the sacrificial ritual are general people, private and state staffs, and visitors. Objects used in the ritual include joss sticks, candles, rice offering, popped rice, banana trees, and sugar canes. Sacrifices are pig’s head, duck, chicken, fruits, sweetmeats, local whisky, soft drink, betel nut, and Piper betel. The role of ritual contributes to a collective spirit and a unity of the community. The value of ritual contributes to a harmony of the community that leads to a stable way of life of people finally.
- According to the development of the performing arts based on Prasat Yai-Ngao, the lyrics are formed from the legend of Prasat Yai-Ngao and the steps to conduct the sacrificial ritual and the melody is applied from 4 traditional Isan music including Jarieng-Jaruang, Introduction song, medley Kantruem, and A-yai Wen. The performing dresses are made from the well-known local silk of Surin – Pha Hol and Pha An-loon-sim and Pra-kuem is used as an ornament. 12 dance-patterns are developed and created basing on the concepts of Thai dance and traditional lower-Isan dance where each dance-pattern presents steps in the ritual performing and natural gestures of the participants of the Prasat Yai-Ngao sacrificial ritual.