Soumountha relaxing in the palace gardens

Soumountha relaxing in the palace gardens

A fresh breeze blew a cool fragrance throughout the forest, and the sound of the entrancing music from the marvelous blend of different instruments soared into the sky. The violinists swayed with typical graceful Lao dance movements, as another group of musicians began playing. They were dazzlingly beautiful and their brightly decorated clothes (embroidered with crystals) sparkled in the sunlight. The women’s black hair was pulled up, glistening with hair oil, and their skin was as white as jasmine flowers. The servant girls picked flowers, from the trees and from those carpeting the ground, and strung them into garlands. They joked with one another, inserting flowers into one another’s hair while singing together. The women prayed fervently that the day would never end. One servant girl took a beautiful dok champa garland the servant girls had strung together and reverently presented it to Nang Soumountha, who was sitting on a nearby bench the dancers was a joyful experience and Soumountha was delighted to see everyone enjoying themselves in the royal gardens. She felt calm and enjoyed the fragrant flowers in full bloom around her. A light wind rustled the palm fronds overhead, soothing body and spirit, everyone continuing to relax as the sun sank lower in the sky

This is such a beautiful scene. I find it very relaxing to look at the illustration drawn by Nick Bowen. And then Nyak Koumphan appears out of the blue and adducts Soumountha as seen in the mural detail below. But is it such a terrible thing that is happening? Look at the eyes of Soumountha and Koumphan. Is Soumountha frightened out of her wits or is she being reunited with an old lover??? Mural detail from Wat Sunan Wari, Khon Kaen, Thailand

This is a great illustration of the scene when Soumountha is abducted from the palace gardens by Nyak Koumphan.

This is a great illustration of the scene when Soumountha is abducted from the palace gardens by Nyak Koumphan.

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