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Puppetry is a traditional art form closely connected with the long-standing spiritual life of the Vietnamese people. There are many kinds of puppet-shows in all the corner of the country. Puppets of different kinds can be found all over the country. However, puppetry art has been developed and diversified as well as popularized mostly in northern midland areas and the plains in Vietnam. The word "roi" (puppetry) has become part of the proper name applied to villages, to pagodas and even to ponds found in many places. (Puppetry villages at Y Yen, Nam Dinh Province; puppetry pagodas at Phu Xuyen, Ha Tay province...)

Since early times, "robe-climbing and puppetry" have been forms of entertainment and have attracted lots of people. Public love, here and there, was expressed through Vietnamese folk songs, idioms, and literature...

In old days, puppetry was closely linked to the tradition and customs of Vietnam. Dong An village festival (Hung Yen province) reperformed the myth of "Dung, Da" by two big puppets. (These two big puppets were made of bamboo, had paper faces and colorful clothes). The villagers carried them around the village and showed their great happiness. This kind of puppets was found in Ba Chua Muoi Temple Festival (Queen of Salt Festival). Its face was made of bamboo, its body was made of poles and its march-clothes were made of sails. All parts of Ly Than Tong Statue (Ha Tay province) and Linh Lang Statue (Ha Cau Temple, Hai Phong Province) were carved separately and were put together with joints so that they could move like string-puppets. There were many puppets standing over night in the fields in order to threaten mice and birds harmful to crops. On Mid-July, Vietnamese people often burn joss stick and paper items for lost souls. On Mid-Autumn Festival (Ram), adults buy toy-puppets for
children. Dragon dances, Lion dances, the dance of Four Magical Animals, Land God dances are attractive amusement of festivals in ethnic minorities. There have been many bird-disguised dances connected with "Animal religion" such as peacock dances (Black Thai ethnic minorities), Phoenix dances, Gru bird dances (Ede ethnic minorities), and Dove dances (Cao Lan ethnic minorities). " Puppet-statues" found in worshipping of La Chi and Lo Lo people. Bana ethnic minorities have many puppetry shows in funeral festivals in order to satisfy not only themselves but also the lost souls. In "puppetry family", there has been "mask dances" at Xuan Pha (Thanh Hoa province). Khmer people (from South Vietnam) have their own mask stage called Robam Tuong.

At present, Bi Pagoda (Nam Dinh Province) and Keo Pagoda (Ha Tay province) still preserve puppetry theatres, which were built on the surface of the ponds in front of Communal Houses centuries ago, have survived until the present day in several places such as Thay Pagoda (Ha Tay province) or Giong Temple (Hanoi).

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