[Article] “Noi Jaiya” the famous musical of Lanna Thai.
Roytavan : WriterCr. - Picture Drawing by http://www.banjenjira.com/
Before the turn of the 20th century, the Lanna kingdom of northern Thailand enjoyed considerable political power and prestige. One indicator was the development of a rich body of music that is particular to northern Thailand, and often played on instruments only found in the north. Since the mid-1970s, there has been a resurgence of interest in the cultural legacy of Lanna.
One of many lanna music is “Noi Jaiya” the famous tradition song of “Charan Manopeth” a singer and songwriter, who charmed Thai audiences with his sweet guitar and the fascinating simplicity of his Lanna-style folk music. He will be remembered for promoting Lanna musical and social culture through such outstanding works as “Mida”, “Dear Big Sister”, “Reward for Dreamers” and “Noi Jaiya”.“Noi Jaiya” the musical play was performed for the first time in Chiang Mai on Chao Dararassamee”s (The consort of Phar Chula Chomklao Choyuhua, King Rama V) birthday in around 2460. It was composed by Tao Sunthornpojanakit, the royal poet of Chao Intawarorot. Tao Sunthornpojanakit presented the “Noi Jaiya” script to Jao Dararassamee, who edited this version to her highness”s satisfaction before its most famous rehearsal.
Later, Princess Artorntipayanipa in the reign of King Rama V had this play performed in Suan Sunanta Palace, whereby it really impressed the royal audience. Hence thereafter it became a highly renowned musical. Regrettably , the entire original play script by Tao Sunthornpojanakit, the one edited by Jao Dararassamee vanished, and had never been found. As a result, we don”t actually know where else the whole “Noi Jaiya” play was performed.
Today, most people assume that “Noi Jaiya” is just a local musical performance, without discerning its origin as a “real” love story between Noi Jaiya and Wan Kaew. The typical “Noi Jaiya” version that we still see from time to time, is actually just a fragment of the whole story. It contains only the scene when Noi Jaiya meets up with Wan Kaew at Huay Kaew waterfall, where Noi Jaiya expresses his disapproval toward the engagement rumor between Wan Kaew and Sang nanta.
The story of “Noi Jaiya - Wan Keaw” about the young lad of Baan Jang Katum has secretly fallen in love with “Wan Kaew” the maiden of Baan Wua Lai. Yet Wan Kaew”s parents have areed to give her away to “Sang Nanta” the teak merchant from Baan Wang Sing Khum.
This understandably devastated Wan Kaew, so she arranged to meet with Noi Jaiya, her lover, to tell him of her proposed fate. The pair gathered in hope at Huay Kaew waterfall, which wa an exceptionally beautiful natural setting at the time.
As Noi Jai learns of this terrible news, Wan Kaew comforts her lover by telling him that there has yet to be the farmal engagement between her and Sang Nanta. She confirms her true love for him, stating that she arranged that days meeting, because she lives in hope there is a solution to their dilemma.
Subsequently Noi Jaiya asks his parents to arrange to formal proposal ceremony for Wan Kaew, before Sang Nanta”s parents do. Their plan works, and fortunately Noi Jaiya wins the hand of his true love, Wan Kaew.
“Noi Jaiya” the famous musical of Lanna Thai.