An Ensemble Of Puppets From Mandalay


A Rapunzel with hair to spare?


DSC_0852 copy 2


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!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Happy travels folks. And a fabulous weekend!

Catch up with you all soon….

Posted by

Hi, I'm Madhu. Wanderer. Travel blogger. Story teller. Bitten late and hard by the travel bug, I am on a mission to make up for lost time.

26 thoughts on “An Ensemble Of Puppets From Mandalay

    1. We aren’t shoppers are we? We had two extremely talented brothers do a puppet show on board the boat one night, and it was mesmerising! I should have included those images as well, but I hadn’t processed them. Am juggling time yet again…setting off for Bangalore in just over an hour :/

  1. A super interesting read. I am always super fascinated by the tales. A puppet echoes mystery in form and would love to get a Burmese one. Lucky you:)

  2. Here in Indonesia kissing on the lips is also censored on TV, but violence is often not — another similarity between our countries. I love traditional puppets, but whenever I travel I never buy one for there is not enough space to put them in my place. Really really love your shots, Madhu. Thanks to his elephant head, Ganesha is indeed one of the most recognizable Hindu gods, whether you’re in South or Southeast Asia.

  3. I think puppeteers are talented, and puppets themselves often works of art, but there is something about them that I always find a little scary! (Enjoyed the post, though! 🙂 )

  4. Oh those shopping stops on tours can be so annoying, good for yo for taking advantage of the freebies! That’s the strangest Ganesha I’ve ever seen 🙂

  5. You really see the world don’t you? And I mean really see. Beautiful photos. And on the subject of shopping, do bloggers and travellers have time? Apart from anti-consumer principles. Can I come with you to Bangalore?

Let me know what you think

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.