Water Puppet Show - A Traditional art of Vietnam.

Water puppet show (or Mua Roi Nuoc) is a special art which created from the Culture of Wet rice. From a folk art, Water puppetry has become a traditional art of Vietnam. With “Tuong”, “Cheo”, Water puppetry owns a high position art of the National Theatre Art. Referring to puppet, it is not a strangeness in almost countries around the world. However, Water puppetry is one of the kind and only exists in Vietnam. Today, the essence of art in Water puppet show is receiving more and more admiration from international friends, help it to become a unique art product of Vietnam.

This is also one of the 3 most special Hanoi City tour by Viet Unique Tours.

1.  The origin of Water puppet show:

Dating back to the 11th century, Water puppetry orginated in the villages of the Red River Delta, an area of the Northern part in Vietnam. Accroding to various sources, Water puppetry was born in the Ly dynasty (1010-1225). This art form is usually held on big occasions such as festivals, village festivals or Tet holiday.

  Water Puppet show

2.  The preparation and working method:

Compare with common puppetry, Water puppetry has many other features such as: Water surface is considered as stage, Water pupptry’s chamber or also known as Water communal house with balanced structure which represents the communal house’s roof in Vietnamses rural. Around this commnual house, flags, fans, elephants and parasols are decorated. Water puppetry’s chamber is built in the middle of ponds and lakes.

Water puppet show 

For puppet, the process of making puppet is very complicated. It has to go through many stages and requires the sophistication of artists. The puppet is made of figs wood, a light wood which can float easily on water surface. It has to be chiseled, hewned with stylized outlines. After that, these puppets need to be trimmed, polished and painted with many different colours. The puppet’s faces are usually fresh, funny and humourous just like the human’s feeling.


The control machine and morphing controls of Water puppetry creates the activites of puppets on stage. It is also the main point of Water puppetry.

  Water puppet show

To play Water puppetry, the artists have to stand in the chamber to control the puppets. They manipulate each pole, rope or jerk puppets by the wire system which is arranged outside or underwater. The success of Water puppetry mainly relies on the movement of puppet’s body.

Water puppetry is excellent at tangling water with music. Music controls the speed, leads the movements, creates the atmosphere with traditional rhythm which plays an important role in Water puppetry. The Water puppet show is very hilarious with lyrics, drums, drumsticks, and the firework which is bursted from underwater, in sparking lights and fantastic atmosphere.Furthermore, its music is often used for the traditional folks or folk songs of the Northern Delta.

3.  Water puppetry’s wards in Vietnam:

The art of Water puppetry is the typical product of Vietnamese culture and it developed in almost all villages around Thang Long Citadel such as “Dao Thuc”- “Dong Anh” district, “Thanh Hai”- “Thanh Ha”- “Hai Duong” province and many wards in most of the Northern Delta’s provinces.

Water puppet show

Expect to Central Puppetry Theater and Thang Long Puppetry Theater, there are some wards likes “Dao Thuc”, “Te Tieu”, “Trang Son”, and “Nam Chan” own this type of art.

However, if visitors have an opportunity to visit Hanoi, do not miss the Water puppetry show at Thang Long Puppetry Theater with Viet Unique Tours. You will not regret spending your time to enjoy this traditional and meaningful show.

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