Indian Shadow Puppets

Topics: Puppetry, Ramdas Padhye, Shadow play Pages: 2 (486 words) Published: April 9, 2011
Indian Shadow Puppets
Puppetry, which is a real challenge to the imagination and the creative ability of the individual, is one of the most ancient forms of entertainment. Besides entertainment, puppetry serves as an applied art, conveying meaningful messages. Of all art forms, it is probably the least restricted in form, design, colour and movement. It is also the least expensive of all animated visual art forms. Traditional Indian shadow puppets are two-dimensional and are made of animal skin. The puppet shapes or cutouts are pierced and split bamboo or cane sticks are attached vertically to the puppet for handling and manipulation.

Different types of puppets are used in traditional puppetry. The differences exist not only in names, but also in form, structure, manipulation and presentation techniques. The different traditional forms are glove, rod, string, and shadow puppets. The local name given to puppetry varies from state to state within India.

The early puppet shows in India dealt mostly with histories of great kings, princes and heroes in rural areas. Religious portrayals in puppetry developed in South India with shadow puppet performances of stories from Ramayana and Mahabharata. Even today, shadow puppet is a temple ritual performed every year during a temple festival for a specified duration. With the progress and development of civilization, the mysticism connected with traditional puppetry slowly started to fade which was replaced with n element of entertainment.

This Clip shows a shadow puppet being flipped during a performance:

This clip shows the music that is used:

Instruments used:
* a long, two-headed South Indian drum
* Bells
* Symbols
* An Indian Xylophone
* Singing is also present. Just like Chinese singing in a sense because it consists of a range of tones and volume sometimes...
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