KHON MASKS

        The subject matter of the Khon is taken from the Ramakian, the Thai version of the Ramayana, and ancient Sanskrit legend. The major portion of the Ramakian deals with the war between Rama, the rightful King of Ayutaya, and Totsakan, the island of Lanka's evil King who had abducted Rama's beautiful wife, Sita, and taken her to Lanka. Rama is aided by his royal brother, Laksman, and several monkeys chieftains with their trops of monkeys. Totsakan's allies are various demons, who are also his relatives.

        While Rama and Laksman were following Totsakan's trail they were joined by two monkey kings, Sukrip, King of Khitkhin, and Thao Maha Chompoo, King of Chompoo who became his staunch allies. When Rama reached the southernmost tip of the subcontinent, he ordered the troops of his two monkey allies to build a causeway of stones across the intervening sea of Lanka. After the bridge was completed the monkey army also built a pavilion for the royal brothers and made camp near lanka. During the siege many battles were fought between the armies of Rama and Totsakan.

        For easy differentiation between the two opposing troops, actor refer to the forces of Rama as the "Pavillion Army" (ฝ่ายพลับพลา), and those of Totsakan as the "Lanka Army" (ฝ่ายลงกา).

        Devas and Rishis whose names are mentioned in the Ramakian are not definitely classified as belonging to one side or the other of the two belligerents. However, their actions usually show them to be Pavilion or Lanka sympathizers.