Identity of the Muay Boran Dance of Sakon Nakhon

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The primary objective of this investigation is to examine the masculine identity of Muay Boran, a performing art based on ancient martial arts in Sakon Nakhon Province. Data were gathered from interviews and observations in the field, as well as from a documentary review of related academic literature. Muay Boran is a performing art that was first conceived by Chamlong Nuanmanee, the performer responsible for combining various boxing moves in Sakon Nakhon to create a single dance, Wai Kru Muay. The dance was first performed in 1927. By 1985, the work had been developed into a group parade and a form of martial arts. The researcher was able to conclude five core functions of the Muay Boran dance, based on interviews with respondents and observations: (1) it is a dance style that simulates former boxing styles; (2) it promotes the image of male strength; (3) it conserves the traditional arts and culture of Sakon Nakhon; (4) it promotes a healthy lifestyle through sports and recreational activities; and (5) it celebrates the tattoos based on traditional beliefs in invincibility and folklore. The identity of the performances is based on masculine ideals that connect the culture of male performing artists with the socio-historical context of Muay Boran.