Water puppetry is a long-standing traditional culture with Vietnamese people, especially in the Northern Delta.
Water puppet was born more than 10 centuries ago in the Red River Delta. This type usually takes place on festivals, village festivals, happy days, New Year days, using puppet shows, plays on water. Water puppetry is also considered a unique intangible culture of the Vietnamese nation.
Water puppetry was born with wet rice civilization but was formed and developed in the Ly dynasty (1010 – 1225). Over time, the art of water puppetry has been passed from generation to generation, gradually becoming an elegant hobby of Vietnamese people on festive occasions.
Before officially becoming theater arts, water puppetry was an activity located in folk guilds scattered throughout the hamlet, “raised” by the enthusiasm of the people. Since ancient times, Vietnamese people have created three types of puppets: toy puppets, kite puppets – wind and water puppets.
The most popular with the water puppet art is the toy puppet. The models that make up the toy puppets are rustic wooden blocks. After being sculpted, carved, colored under the hands of the artist, they will become more soulful, become part of the success of the show.
Today, puppet performances are increasingly elaborately invested. Not only is the rude performance of the puppet artists and their puppets, this art form is also a combination of rowing orchestra, lighting systems, smoke effects, rays fire … making the water puppet show so vivid.
Water puppetry has now become a “cultural specialty” of Vietnam. Tourists are often very excited about the cultural shows when visiting our country, especially the water puppet show.
They are attracted to the “national symphony” of musical instruments such as flute, percussion, gourd, zither … The music in water puppetry helps to link the repertoire together. The water puppeteers rely on the rhythm of the music to control the puppet at the time and excitement.
The puppet characters are cleverly and skillfully controlled by “mysterious” artisans. Through the stories presented by the water puppet artist, viewers will feel the nuances of the village festival, sending idyllic dreams for life.