Indian Puppetry, Types & Putul Nautch for Rajasthan PSC Exam

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Indian Puppetry

  • A form of theatre or performance involving manipulation of puppets.
  • The process of animating inanimate performing objects.
  • Used both as entertainment in performance and ceremonially in rituals and celebrations such as carnivals.
  • Originating in India years ago, where the main character in Sanskrit plays was known as ″ Sutradhara ″ , and ″ the holder of strings ″ .

Types of Puppetry

Types of Puppetry

String Puppetry

String Puppetry
  • Jointed body and limbs that allow movement.
  • Made of wood, or wire, or cloth stuffed with cotton, rags, or saw dust and are usually small.
  • Manipulated by operating the control as well as by loosening or pulling the relevant string
  • Regional variations:
  • Andhra Pradesh (Koyya Bommalata) , Assam (Putala Nach) ,
  • Karnataka (Sutrada Gombeyata) , Maharashtra (Kalasutri Bahulya) ,
  • Rajasthan (Kathputli) ,
  • Orissa (Gopalila) ,
  • Tamil Nadu (Bommalatam) and West Bengal (Tarer or Sutor Putul)

Shadow Puppetry

Shadow Puppetry
  • Flat figures cut out of leather, treated to make it translucent.
  • Pressed against the screen with a strong source of light behind it.
  • The manipulation between the light and the screen make silhouettes or colourful shadows, as the case may be, for the viewers who sit in front of the screen.
  • Prevalent in Orissa. Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu.
  • Tholu Bommalata, Andhra Pradesh
  • Large in size and have jointed waist, shoulders, elbows, and knees.
  • The classical music of the region Coloured on both sides. Hence, throw coloured shadows on the screen.

Ravana Chhaya, Orissa

Ravana Chhaya
  • Small and are in one piece with no joints.
  • Made of deerskin and are conceived in bold dramatic poses.
  • Not coloured, hence throw opaque shadows on the screen
  • Apart from human and animal characters, many props such as trees, mountains, chariots, etc also used.

Glove Puppetry

Glove Puppetry
  • The head is made of papier mache, cloth, or wood, with two hands emerging from just below the neck.
  • The rest of the figure consists of a long flowing skirt.
  • The movements are controlled by the human hand the first finger inserted in the head and the middle finger and the thumb are the two arms of the puppet.
  • Popular in Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, West Bengal and Kerala.
  • Dilogues play an important role

Rod Puppetry

Rod Puppetry
  • Extension of glove puppets, but often much larger, supported, and manipulated by rods from below.
  • Found mostly in West Bengal and Orissa

Putul Nautch, West Bengal

Putul Nautch
  • costumed like the actors of Jatra, a traditional theatre
  • Carved from wood and follow the various artistic styles of a particular region.
  • Used to be of human size, but existing puppets vary from 3 to 4 feet in height
  • Music of Jatra theatre (drum, harmonium and cymbals)
  • Puppeteers themselves sing and deliver the stylized prose dialogues along with a group of musicians
  • Manipulated by a bamboo made hub tied firmly to the waist of the puppeteer on which the rod holding the puppet is placed.
  • Puppeteers move and dance imparting movements to puppets.