Timothy Tye
Puppet Plays in Penang


Teochew Puppet PlayTeochew Puppet Play (27 November, 2005)




The Puppet Play is a cultural heritage of Penang. This miniature form of opera is often staged during the feast days of various Taoist deities as entertainment for the gods. This is mostly a Teochew form of performing art, though there are Hokkien puppet troupes as well.

In the Teochew Puppet Plays, the wooden puppets are controlled using rods attached to their limbs. These puppets wear opera-style costumes. As far as I know, there is now only one of two Teochew Puppeteer troupes left in Penang, and they are usually engaged by temples for feast day celebrations.

In 2006, the Penang Heritage Trust recognized Madam Ooi Sew Kim as a living heritage of Penang for being the owner of a Hokkien Puppet Troupe.

One of the instances when I got to view a puppet play was at the Ngor Teik Keong Temple in Tanjong Tokong. It was having a feast day, and the Penang Heritage Trust organised a Site Visit to coincide with the celebration.

Puppet play at Ngor Teik Keong TemplePuppet play at Ngor Teik Keong Temple (27 November, 2005)


Teochew puppetTeochew puppet (27 November, 2005)


Puppet showPuppet show (27 November, 2005)




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