5. Sustainability, Landscape Context, and Water Puppet Culture in the Red River Delta, Vietnam
  • Manage No DI00001334
    Country United Kingdom
    Author Maggie Roe (Professor of Landscape, Newcastle University), Niki Black (Senior Research Associate, Newcastle University), Hue Le (Senior Researcher and Lecturer, Vietnam National University, Hanoi), Cat. Button (Senior Lecturer, Newcastle University)
    Published Year 2022
    Language English
    Copyright Copyright
    Attach File Preview (ENG)
Description Water puppetry is identified widely as an artistic form that has sprung from the characteristics of particular landscapes and the lives and shared stories of their communities. In the Red River Delta (RRD) in Vietnam, it is documented as having developed in the rice-growing area in the tenth/eleventh century (Dunning, [1996] 2021; Gaboriault, 2009), with the first physical evidence of performance held in the Th ầy Temple, Hà Tây Province, during the Late Lê (Ly) Dynasty (1428–1778). The inscription on the Sùng Thiên Diên Linh stone stele (tablet) of 1121 at the Doi San ̣Pagoda, Duy Tien District (around 50 kilometers from Hanoi), provides evidence of water puppetry based on stories that reflect local lives and livelihoods and mythical creatures such as the golden tortoise, fairies, and flocks of birds and animals singing and dancing (Hai, 2006). Water puppet performance is a collaboration between puppeteers, musicians, the audience, and, importantly, the character of the staging and spatial context of the performance within water landscapes. Today, performances generally consist of a series of short vignettes based on stories of traditional delta life and livelihoods, commonly interspersed with folk tales and mythological characters.

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