Lecture 12: Puppetry
Puppetry is the indigenous theatre of India. From time immortal it has been the most popular
form and well-appreciated form of entertainment available to the village people. It is an
inexpensive activity. The manipulator uses the puppets as a medium to express and communicate
ideas, values and social messages.
Types of Puppet theatre in India: -
1. String puppets or Kathputlis of Rajasthan – Contents - Heroic deeds of Vikramaditya,
Prithviraj Chouhan, and Amar Singh Rathore
2. String puppets of Orissa – Contents - Radha-Krishna
3. Rod puppets from Bengal: - Contents -Mahabharat, Manas, Radha-Krishna
4. String and Rod puppets of the south (Tanjavur, Madras and Andhra): -Contents - Kathakali
5. Shadow puppets of (a) Orissa (b) Kerala (c) Andhra (d) Karnataka: - Contents - Ramayana.
6. Thus in rural India puppetry is a source of livelihood, avenue for entertainment and creative
expression which is ritually sacred and meaningful as a means of social communication and
vehicle of social transformation.
Song and Drama Division of the Government Of India make wide use of puppets in its
campaigns to promote various government projects. Several other organizations, government,
semi-government and private, have also used puppets in support of individual schemes.
Life Insurance Corporation of India used puppets to educate rural masses about Life Insurance;
enlisting the help of the literacy house in Luck now. These plays were shown to the audience in
villages in UP, Bihar, & MP. The number of inquires at local Life Insurance Companies during
the period immediately following the performance was compared with normal frequency and
found to be considerable higher. The field staff of the corporation also reported a definite impact
on the business.
Indian Institute of mass communication, N.Delhi made a study of comparative impact of
puppetry and documentary films, in two villages near Delhi. People in both the villages
responded more favorably to the puppet shows then the films. Folk Theater
Folk theaters are mainly short and rhythmic in form. The simple tunes help in informing and
educating the people in informal and interesting manner. It has been used as an effective medium
for social protest against injustice, exploitation and oppression.
Folk Theater / Songs Forms In India
Andhra Pradesh: Veethi Natakam, Kuchupudi, Burratatha
Assam: Ankiya Nat, Kirtania Natak, Ojapali Bihar: Bidesia, Serikela Chhau, Jat-Jatni
Haryana: Swang, Naqqal
Himachal Pradesh: Kariyala, Bhagat, Ras, Jhanki, Harnatra Haran or Harin.
Jammu & Kashmir: Bhand Pathar or Bhand Jashna, Vetal Dhamali
Karnataka: Yakshagan, Sanata, Doddata-Bayalata, Tala Maddle or Prasang, Dasarata,
Kerala: Kodiyattam, Mudiattam, Therayattam, Chavittu Natakam, Chakiyar Kooth,
Madhya Pradesh: Maanch, Nacha Maharashtra: Tamasha, Lalit Bharud, Gondha,
Orissa: Pala Jatra, Daskathia, Chhau Mayurbhanj, Mangal Ras, Sowang,
Punjab: Nautanki, Naqaal, Swang
Rajasthan: Khyal, Rasdhari, Rammat, Turra Kilangi, Gauri, Nautanki, Jhamtara
Tamilnadu: Therukuttu, Veethi Natakam, Bhagwat Mela Natakam, Kurvaanji, Pagal
Vasham, Kavadi Chindu
Uttar Pradesh: Ram Leela, Ras Leela, Nautanki, Bhagat, Sang-Swang, Naqqual
Goa, Daman & Diu : Dashavatar, Tiyatra.
Folk songs have been effectively used during revolts of Telangana and Naxalbari and now a days
it's best exploiters are Political Parties.
Government has used this media for popularizing improved variety of seeds, agricultural
implements, fertilizer etc. Punjab Agricultural University produced Two Audio Cas