Boy on a Buffalo Water Puppet

This boy on a buffalo is part of a water-puppetry ensemble that includes a master of ceremonies called Teu, a dragon, a lion, and a fairy. He has moveable parts and thick colourful painted exterior. The buffalo’s head is joined by a strip of rubber-tyre inner tube – an ingenious method of recycling materials. This puppet appears in a pastoral scene of tending buffalo. The origins of water-puppetry are thought to date to the 12th century although it is possible that it was a folk art that developed even earlier in the rice-farming villages of north Vietnam. The stories enacted include spiritual and popular themes that are closely related with rural life.

Artist Name
Dang Van Thiet
c. 1996
Hanoi, Vietnam
Object size: 002: L56.0 x W25.0 x H31.0 cm, Object size: 001: L32.0 x W20.0 cm
Accession No.
Wood, rubber, metals, paint
Collection of
Asian Civilisations Museum
Theatre Artefacts