Daily Life :: Water Puppetry

Water puppetry (mua roi nuoc which literally means "puppets that dance on water") is unique to Vietnam. It is believed to have originated in the rice paddies of the Red River Delta during the Ly Dynasty.

Water Puppet Performance
The puppets are hand-crafted out of wood, stand 0.6-1.2m high and weigh up to 15 kg. Their body, moveable head and arms are seen above water in a thigh-high pool.

Each puppet is attached to a base under water at one end of a long bamboo rod. The base has a mechanism for pulleys and strings.

Hidden behind screens and rattan curtains, puppeteers manipulate/operate the puppets using these rods and strings and the puppets seem to be moving and dancing on water. The show is accompanied by music, songs and special effects.