Tuesday 6 March 2012

Temple Timeout

We broke up our temple fatigue with a visit to a silk farm west of Siem Reap where we learnt about the lengthy process of producing beautiful silk products from worms. From fields of mulberry bushes to engorged silk worms, unravelling the single long string of a golden cocoon to tie-dying the hand spun thread into a riot of colours, and then the tedious task of weaving the multi-hued thread into glorious fabrics; all this work was performed at the patient hands of women, and the occasional well-disciplined man, with impressive quality to show for it.

Silk Worms at Siem Reap

Weaving at Siem Reap

We continued our fine arts education with an evening shadow puppets and traditional dance show, featuring performers who were disadvantaged children drawn from the local community. The shadow puppets and accompanying music were lovely enough, with scenes from the Ramayana and other traditional stories, but the show behind the screen was just as fascinating.

Back stage at Shadow Puppets - Siem Reap

Back stage at Shadow Puppets - Siem Reap

Shadow Puppets - Siem Reap

The traditional dances were particularly heartwarming to watch. All the dancers were deaf and kept time only by signals from the musicians, but their enthusiasm resulted in a lively and entertaining evening all round.

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