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Heng Ko (เอ็งกอ)

Thai-Chinese name of a Chinese performing art that came to Thailand about a century ago, first arriving in the amphur Phanat Nikhom (พนัสนิคม) in Chonburi Province along with Chinese immigrants, who preserved this art throughout time, and from whose community it eventually also spread. Akin to Chinese opera, known in Thai as ngiw, the performers also dress in colourful costumes (fig.), generally made of shiny fabric, and wear rich facial makeup, which is often fashioned with symbols from themes of Mahayana Buddhism (fig.), such as the Peach of Immortality (fig.), a lotus flower (fig.), a bodhi tree leaf (fig.), and nahm tao or hu lu calabash (fig.), whilst certain leading characters may also wear elaborate headdresses and long artificial beards. See also lian pu (fig.) and Peking Opera (fig.). See also TRAVEL PICTURES (1) and (2).