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Living dolls-story of indian puppets

Author Jiwan Pani

introduction

Puppets are actors though not human beings. Nor are they merely bits of woods or rags. Just as mask is consider as the other face of man, so also we may consider puppets as the other being. Since it is endowed with such extraordinary life of its own, it can carry drama to heights beyond the reach of human actors.

PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECT

Puppet theatre fascinates not only because they move the audience by their impersonality, but there are other deep psychological reasons too.
Some of them are :

We all wish to have powers over others. It is the wish to make ourselves felt by controlling others destinies. Accordingly the puppeteer creates his puppets and populates his own world. Perhaps he behaves as a despot or a god. The other wish is somewhat the same as that of a father who aspires to fulfill in his son what he has missed in life. Therefore, puppets often perform such acts that we want to but can not do. This is kind of sublimation. Thus, because of these psychological reasons puppetry is very effectively used in correcting delinquency in children.

HISTORY OF PUPPETRY

Many scholars said that puppet theater originated in India and it is from here that this art moved to other Asian countries. There are, a number of evidences to prove that puppetry reached great heights in India as long back as in the early centuries B.C. Its popularity is evident from the way it has been referred to in poems, especially with metaphysical content.

For instance:In SRIMAD BHAGAVATA, the god almighty has been linked to a puppeteer who with three strings- SATTVA, RAJAS and TAMAS manipulates all the beings in the universe. It is probable that the earliest appearance of puppets was in connection with religious ceremonies or as a medium of popularizing religious legends . And as civilization advanced it was recognized that puppets not only mystify, they also do entertain.

THREE - DIMENSIONAL PUPPETS

1. Kundhei-nacha of orissa
Kundhei + nacha=doll dance Two puppets representing Krishna and the other Radha. Group comprises of two persons ;one puppeteer proper and the other drummer-cum-puppeteer. Drummer plays Dholak. No stage is required. Puppeteers donot hide behind a curtain and they manipulate their puppets in full view of audience. Main appeal singing and literary content of the song.Interspersed humorous sequences enhance its appeal.

2. PAVA- KUTHU OF KERALA


Pava+kuthu =doll or puppet dance Richer than kundheinacha of Orissa (theatrically). Practised by few families of Paruthipully village. Influence of kathakali resulted in starting of puppetry called Pavakathakali.

3. ROD-PUPPETS

Found only in West Bengal and

Orissa. In Tamil Nadu and Karnataka,


traditional puppet is manipulated both by strings and rod. Hand of this puppet figures are attached with rods but are suspended by strings and manipulated from above. Appropriately belong to string

puppets.

4. KATHPUTLI OF RAJASTHAN
Kathputli=string puppets The neck ,face and head of a puppet figure are carved out of a single piece of wood. Head carving is done to suggest the wearing of a headgear.

Features-elongated stylized eyes ,faces painted yellow ;few have white faces. Dont have legs. Upper garment approximate medieval Rajasthani dress. Perform one play on the story of a legendary hero Amar Singh Rathore.

5.PUTUL-NACH OF WEST BENGAL


Puppets are of about 3.5-4 feet in height. Have three joints. Head jointed at the neck and both hands at the shoulders. Manipulation is interesting a bamboo-made hub is firmly tied to the waist of the puppeteer. Puppets stand behind a head-high curtain.

Some MORE FORMS OF THREE-DIMENSIONAL PUPPETS

Glove - puppets

String puppets or marionettes

Bommalatam of Tamil Nadu

Kalasutri bahulye of Maharashtra

Gombe-atta of Karnataka

Shadow-theatre

Also known as shadowplay or shadow show. Different from all other forms of theatre, including the various types of puppetry. It is a type of puppetry in which flat figures, usually made of leather, are lightly pressed on a translucent screen with a strong source of light behind.

FORMS OF SHADOW THEATRE

1. PUTLA-NACH OF ASSAM
Putla=doll dance The stylized traditional human theatre is known as Bhaona theatre,the plays of which are known as Ankianat. A traditional performer of Putla-nach could not be located, but a few are still performing this traditional type of puppetry in remote rural areas of Assam.

2. RAVANACHHAYA OF ORISSA
Ravanachhaya =the shadow of Ravana Theme is exclusively based on the Rama story but is named after Ravana.

3. CHAMDYACHA BAHULYE OF MAHARASHTRA

Chamdyacha Bahulye = puppets made of leather.

SOME MORE FORMS OF SHADOW THEATRE

THOL PAVA

-KUTHU OF KERALA

TOGALU

GOMBE -ATTA OF KARNATAKA

Contemporary puppet theatre

India is said to be the home of puppetry and the country has the longest and the richest tradition in the art. Contemporary creations are still in their infancy. Outside India in countries like

USA,USSR,FRANCE,SWE DEN,GERMANY,HUNGA RY,POLAND,CANADA


contemporary theatre claims equal status to human theatre.

In India ,kathputli show is famous in cities like rajasthan,kolkata. In Mumbai ,the Indian institute of puppetry and Indian puppet theatre are doing experimentation.

Ajay paul of udaipur,mahipat kavi of ahmedavad,r.n.l srivatsava of new delhi,modulkar master of Mumbai are

dedicated contemporary puppeteers for drawing inspiration from both traditional and modern techniques. Central sangeet natak akademi at new delhi has done commendable work for revival of interest in puppet theatre. In 1970 ,jiwan pani was entrusted the responsibility of implementing schemes aimed at reviving interest in both contemporary and traditional puppet theatre.

Preservation and promotion of puppetry was implemented under jiwan pani supervision. Suresh dutta came with a conclusion that showmanship should get priority over aesthetic considerations. Indian should realize that both human and puppet theatre need to look for a brighter future.

CONCLUSION

It is however, unfortunate that in India which has an unbroken tradition of puppet theatre for more than two thousand years is yet to awaken to the desirability of strengthening the fascinating art. In the contemporary scene of performing arts, puppetry is perhaps the most neglected.

GROUP MEMBERS
Akshara

Saumya
Priyanshi Megha

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