An Ensemble Of Puppets From Mandalay

 

A Rapunzel with hair to spare?

 

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I could be wrong, but she is most likely a Burmese Draupadi – that virtuous, wronged wife of the Pandavas (the five heroes of the Hindu epic Mahabharata) – who vows never to tie up her long tresses until she can anoint them with the blood of her molester, who incidentally, is her husbands’ step brother.

I recently watched the gory details of how one of her five husbands (no. 2) avenges her dishonour and helps her fulfil her vow, in a serialised version on TV. How that scene (or the shocking one leading up to it) got cleared for family viewing, when the mere suggestion of a kiss gets our film censor board in a tizzy, is beyond me!

This ubiquitous shopping stop on our shore excursion from the Irrawaddy Explorer, was one I actually had to be dragged away from. It was more a warehouse overflowing with artefacts than a showroom, and utterly fascinating. No I didn’t buy a single puppet, although I shamelessly helped myself to the complimentary juice and coconut cakes while the others did.

Below are more characters from the epics, a couple – or two – of lovely wooden Buddhas, some Apsaras, a few demons and a pretty little craftsgirl (?) hard at work. Oh, and don’t miss the Ganesha!

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Happy travels folks. And a fabulous weekend!

Catch up with you all soon….