Giant Puppet Parade
The Giant Puppet Project has been bringing joy and wonder to Siem Reap, Cambodia for the past nine years. This revolutionary community project provides a creative platform for disadvantaged children in Siem Reap which promotes self-expression and confidence through art.
More than 600 children from a variety of well-established NGO projects come together every year to construct giant puppets of significant Cambodian icons before lighting them up and parading them proudly through the streets of Siem Reap. This year, Navutu Dreams is the proud to be the sponsor of the Banded Krait Snake puppet, and we are extremely glad to have the opportunity to support and be a part of this wonderful community project.
The project promotes community building, establishes teamwork, and provides a fun method for children to learn about their indigenous flora and fauna. In this puppet’s case, the Banded Krait Snake is an indigenous and very common species in Cambodia. It can be easily identified by its bright yellow stripes!
This year marks an important milestone in the Giant Puppet Project’s history. For the first time since its inception, the workshops will be run entirely by Cambodian Artists from the renowned Phare Ponleu Seplak Visual Arts School in Battambang. The collaboration began back in 2009, when co-founder and Project Director Stuart Cochlin initiated the merger of the Giant Puppet Project with Phare. Last year, Artistic Director Jig Cochrane let the Battambang artists take the lead, and was hugely impressed with the results.
During the workshops, which span two weeks, each team is led by five Phare artists who teach the children hoow to hand-craft these amazing puppets from rattan, an indigenous jungle vine that offers great flexibility. Martin, one of the team’s planners and supervisors, said the construction process is “very zen,” and that there is “quite an art to it,” as he bent and taped rattan vines together. He called the whole project “a sort of serendipitous happenstance.” “It’s good to have something creative, kids aren’t taught art in school here,” added Cochlin.
To see these beautiful creations for yourself and experience all the wonderful energy that was put into making them, join everyone else in Siem Reap at 7pm on February 21, 2015 in the Old Market area. Come see Navutu Dreams’ first ever Giant Puppet, and its proud creators from ABC’s & Rice and Krousar Thmey, as they parade gallantly through the streets of Siem Reap!
For our guests already here with us at Navutu Dreams, we have made special arrangements to celebrate the occasion and to enjoy fabulous views of the parade. If you would like to join us at our pre-booked table along the parade route, do inform the concierge and we will make arrangements for you.
For more information, do visit the Giant Puppet Project’s Facebook Page and come join the fun!