Puppets of Rajasthan

The string puppets of Rajasthan are known as kathputhlis in the local lingo and the main centres where they are made are Jaipur and Jodhpur. The Bhatt community makes these puppets as well as performs with them from village to village during the dry season when cultivation is not possible.

The puppets are generally two feet in height having a wooden head with an enormous nose and large eyes. The rest of the body is made of colourful and bright pieces of cloth and stuffed rags which also allow for free movement. Unless they are horse riders, the puppets have no legs but are covered with a long pleated skirt. The puppet has a long string for the head which reaches the manipulator and then joins the waist";" the strings from the two hands of the puppet are joined to the hands of the manipulator.

The costumes are regional and traditional while the themes that are performed revolve around Rajasthani historical tales or local legends. A few characters and items like the court dancer, stunt horse rider, and snake charmer, are a must.

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