Water puppetry – unique art form of Vietnam

Water puppetry – unique art form of Vietnam

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Hanoi muslim toursWater puppetry is the local cultural characteristic of Vietnam, developed in most of the villages around the Thang Long and puppetry wards in the North Delta provinces.

A performance of Thang Long Water puppetry theater.

What is Water Puppetry?

Water Puppetry (forms used puppets perform on the water) are considered intangible cultural character of Vietnam, a art form of long-standing folk stage in the region Red River Delta takes place in the festival, village festival, fun day, Tet.

Water puppetry has different characteristics with conventional puppetry, people use water as the stage was erected between lakes with symmetrical architecture symbolizes pavilion of the rural Vietnam, rear has back-cloth cover, is decorate around flags, bamboo tape fans, elephants, parasols…The puppets are made of wood, performed by the puppeteer  after the rear through the system pole, wire … and by supporting the drum and flute.

Wooden puppets are carved with separately stylized lines and then castigate, polished and decorated with different colored paint to respect the lines, personality to each character. The character is the most typical Chu Teu – fuller body, witty optimistic smile. Opening, Chu Teu appear cheerful, playful first with mission narrator. The body is a mess surfaced showing character, while the base is submerged part keep the puppets  above and where is installed control machine to puppets can move. Machine control and control techniques created action for puppet on the water stager is the crux of water puppetry. Machine controls are hidden under water, taking advantage of water power to make the remote control, dedicate to audience a lot of strange, unexpected performance.

Chu Teu – The typical character of water puppetry.

Water puppetry must have music. Music controls speed, keep pace, lead movements, make the atmosphere with the rhythm of traditional plays a key role. Water puppetry is often use Cheo or North Delta folk song.

Water Puppets in Vietnam today

In India and Asian, only hand puppetry, rod puppetry and string puppetry, but see Water puppetry in Vietnam and China. According to Professor J. Pimpaneau, water puppetry has disappeared in China and now “only exist in Vietnam”.

Water Puppetry Performance

With the efforts of the industry Vietnam water puppetry, it is being developed and protected to deserve with the national cultural heritage stature.



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