Author: Meena Naik
Publisher: National Book Trust
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8123742061
Puppetry has a very old history. We come across references to puppets in the Mahabharata, Ramayana, Panchatantra, Naishadeeya Charita, Kathasaritsagar, Jnaneshwari and many other books. What is a puppet? In Marathi it is called Kalasootri. Kala is a key or lever, and sootra is thread. The one who holds the string is the sootradhar. The term sootradhar is often used in the theatre, but it has its origin in puppetry.
Experts believe that Indian theatre has developed from puppetry. The art of shadow puppetry is very ancient. It is believed that Vishnudas Bhave, the pioneer of modern Marathi theatre, was initially a puppeteer. Despite this glorious tradition the art of puppetry did not develop and sustain in our country. It has not been accepted as an honourable profession. In Japan, Russia, Czechoslovakia, USA, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, England and many other countries, however, this art has developed and has reached its peak.
There are four major forms of traditional puppets: (i) glove/hand puppets, (ii) rod puppets; (iii) string puppets/marionettes; (iv) shadow puppets/leather puppets.
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Different Shades of Puppets
Paper-bag Talking Puppets
Simple Glove Puppet: Hare and Tortoise
A Talking Puppet Made From an Empty Cardboard Box
A Wooden Spoon Puppet
Sponge Rod Puppets: Lion and Mouse
Rod/Stick Puppet: Maharaja
String Puppet: Clown
Skits for Puppet Shows
The Mouse’s Cap
I Will Try to be Yashoda at least