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Htwe Oo Puppet Show

Yangon, Southern Myanmar
Htwe Oo Puppet Show

Puppetry is the most popular show in Myanmar arts and culture. The puppets are backed by expert manipulators who conversed, joked and relative humorous stories through their puppets to the delight of the audience. At least four manipulators took charge of a character using handling rods and strings at the back of the curtain and give voice to the puppets. Puppets are beautifully dressed in lavish embellishment with gilded materials and semi-precious gems, depends on their characters.
Puppet shows usually take place at pagoda festivals, which are like country fairs.


The probable date of the origin of Burmese marionettes is given as around 1780 during the reign of Singu Min, and their introduction is credited to the Minister of Royal Entertainment, U Thaw. From their inception, marionettes grew in popularity in the courts of the Konbaung dynasty. Little has changed since the creation of the art by U Thaw, and the set of characters developed by him is in use today. Until the conquest of Upper Burma by the British in late 1885 during the Third Anglo-Burmese War, yoke thé troupes thrived under royal patronage.


List of characters

  1. Nat votaress ( Nat Kadaw) – two figures
  2. Horse (Myin) – one figure
  3. Elephant ( Hsin) – two figures (one white, one black)
  4. Tiger ( Kyar) – one figure
  5. Monkey (Myauk) – one figure
  6. Parrot (Thalika) – two figures
  7. Alchemist (Zawgyi) – one figure
  8. Minister (Wungyi) – four figures
  9. King (Mintayar gyi) – one figure
  10. Prince ( Minthar) – one figure
  11. Princess (, Minthami) – one figure
  12. Prince Regent (Uparaja or Ain-shei-Minthar) – two figures (one white-faced, one red-faced)
  13. Brahmin (, Ponenar) – one figure
  14. Hermit (Yathei) – one figure
  15. Nat (, Nat) – one figure
  16. Deva (Maha Deiwa) – one figure
  17. Old man (Apho-O) – one figure
  18. Old woman (Aphwa-O) – one figure
  19. Buffoon (Lu phyet) – two figures

Htwe Oo characters


A traditional Burmese orchestra known as a hsaing waing usually provides the music. The puppeteers themselves often provide the voices of the characters.


If you heard about the famous traditional puppetry in Myanmar, here is the only place where you can see it!

After 800 years of traditional puppetry, only few ensembles are left in Myanmar.

“Htwe Oo Myanmar” is the last one showing this tradition in all its beauty.

Htwe Oo Myanmar is a Traditional Puppet Theater Is an unique place where Myanmar traditional and cultural heritage of string puppetry could be seen and learned.
The private atmosphere and friendly and informative explanations will give you an exceptional experience you will never forget. You see the beautiful puppets move right in front of you, and after the show you can take the puppets in your hands and try out how to move them by yourself!

Preferred show times are : 2pm, 3pm, 4pm, 5pm & 6pm DAILY but out of these times are can also be negotiated if required by your itinerary.

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