Mask of Sva, a monkey soldier

This mask of Sva, a monkey soldier, represents one of the characters from the Khmer version of the Ramayana, the Reamker story that supports the all-male dance-drama tradition (lakhaoun khaol). Masks were used in various Khmer dance traditions including lakhaoun luong (court dance) and lakhaoun khaol. It is made by moulding layers of paper in two halves which are then joined together. Decorative elements are moulded in wax and applied to the mask, which is then painted and gilded with gold leaf. This mask is made by An Sok, one of the last master lacquer craftsmen in Phnom Penh.Commissions such as this help to sustain living traditions. It is thought that this set of masks could well be the most comprehensive set to have been made by Mr. An Sok who passed away recently.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Object size: H21.0 x Dia 29.0 cm
Accession No.
Papier mache
Collection of
Asian Civilisations Museum