Old art: The FVH will host a full day study tour to Đông Các Village – one of the few remaining villages which is still home to the craftsmen and handlers of the water puppets. — Photo hivietnam.net
Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — The Friends of Vietnam Heritage on May 20 will host a full day study tour to Đông Các Village in Thái Bình Province (about 130km from Hà Nội). The village, which has over 300 years of water puppet history, is one of the few remaining villages still home to the craftsmen and handlers of the puppets.
The tour members will learn about this village’s specific designs and unique equipment used to control the puppets, followed by a special performance. The group will meet the head and some members of the Đông Các Water Puppet Troupe, who will be the hosts for the day. Some of the troupe members’ families have handed this craft down through the centuries.
Although for the troupe members, water puppets are their first love, but most of the puppeteers now work in agriculture, carpentry or masonry to earn a living and raise their families.
At present, there are only two members, aged 65 and 68, skilled enough to make the puppets with four assistants learning the craft. So, it is truly a rare and endangered art form.
Max 29 pax. Cost: VNĐ300,000. Email John at firstname.lastname@example.org to register. — VNS