MAN’S artistic expressions are a reflection of his physical, spiritual and intellectual environment. Changes in these environments will impact his expressions. Such changes can be natural and gradual, or enforced and abrupt. In the normal pace of change, the process of acculturation of new and even foreign elements is gradually phased in without much cultural shock or upheaval. The community accepts this as they are involved and are instrumental in effecting these changes.
On the other hand, when changes occur abruptly as a result of official or religious persecution that imposes restrictions, new standards of performance that are alien to the artistic forms, they disrupt the artistic tradition, forcing alterations to aesthetic expressions. In the case of traditional theatres, such imposition changes their aesthetic and performance structure. Traditional Malay theatres have experienced these natural and enforced changes.
Makyong is one of them.
In fact, from its inception as a court of entertainment, believed to be at the court of Patani, now located in Southern Thailand, Makyong was then relegated to a folk form of entertainment as a result of a change in the policy of royal patronage. Thus, Makyong had to reorientate itself to a new audience, which was different from the court audience. It adapted itself to the new environment by changing its dramatic and structural elements to be in consonant with the rustic sentiments of the folk audience.