17th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest
Sutradhara (The Puppet Master)
When Myanmar marionette artists want to express praise for a performance, they will say that their fellow player was “possessed by the Lamaing spirit”. The Lamaing is the patron of the theatre in Buddhism, the spirit who could fill an artist with inspiration. In the beginning, puppets had a religious purpose before they became used for entertainment & it is generally believed they originated in China & India in the Orient, Greece & Italy in the West. Along with Buddhism, there are remnants of spirit worship in the form of Nats, the name for Burmese spirits. Many early forms of theater were centred on these spirits. Nibhatkhin was a form of theatre perhaps originally based on spirit plays, but it evolved toward secular themes. Evolved from Nibhatkhin is Nat Pwe, a spirit medium dance. A highly developed form of Marionette theatre, Yokthe Pwe, began in 14th Century as an amusement for children, but this form grew more & more sophisticated in the number of strings & the dramas used also grew in depth & magnitude. The shot was inside a small dark temple from the 11th century. When I saw the monk trying to tighten his robe, it looked to me like a human seize puppet theatre.
© Apostolos Kaloudis.
All rights reserved.
||Nov. 30, 2019, 10:54 a.m.