Puppet shows at pagoda festivals aim to raise public interest

Marionette troupes perform at traditional puppet show in Mandalay.
Marionette troupes perform at traditional puppet show in Mandalay.

TRADITIONAL puppet shows will be performed at pagoda festivals in central regions by the Myanmar Marionettes Organisation to resurrect the country’s traditional folk arts, said its Chairman Daw Ma Ma Naing.
Puppetry is the most popular show in Myanmar arts and culture. It usually takes place at pagoda festivals. Researchers said the 1780s are the probable date of the origin of Myanmar marionettes.
The MMO will organize puppet shows during religious festivals to be held at famous pagodas including Shwesayan and Kaunghmutaw across Bagan in Mandalay Region so as to raise public interest in Myanmar’s folk art.
The organization will
also accelerate the performance of marionette shows at schools to introduce the country’s culture and tradition to schoolchildren.
Once a popular form of entertainment around Myanmar, puppetry is now practiced by very few people in the country today. At present, around 20 professionals remain in the field.
Publications related to the art of marionette puppetry are planned for the future, the MMO’s spokesperson said.
Foreigners from European countries have shown an interest in Myanmar puppetry.
They previously observed the art and learned it while living in Myanmar.



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