Exact Match
Stringed Puppet
Title Stringed Puppet
Accession Number 61.1102
Title2 Kathputli
Museum Name National Museum, New Delhi
Gallery Name Anthropology
Object Type Anthropology
Main Material Wood
Component Material II Textile
Manufacturing Technique Carved, painted
Country India
Origin Place Rajasthan
Period / Year of Work 20th century CE
Dimensions Lt. 44 cms (approx.)
Detailed Description The string-puppet show is a popular source of amusement and in fact forms the ultimate imagery of the folk tradition of Rajasthan. The art of puppetry is traditionally associated with an agricultural labourer community called the Bhats who inhabit the area around Nagaur in the Mewar region. They travel far and wide around the country side and are always referred to as Kathputliwala. The face and the neck are carved out of a single block of wood and the torso and the hands are made out of stuffed rags. They are draped in long trailing skirts of fabrics like leheriya or bandhej which are further decorated with gota (golden ribbon). The wood is carefully chosen according to the character to be portrayed, and is coated with a protective layer of chalk and then painted. The face is completed with the painting of dramatic elongated eyes. The stories performed are generally of the heroic tales of Rajasthan's glorious maharajas and valiant soldiers, along with their whole entourage of queens, snake charmers, acrobats and ministers. The narration is accompanied by music of the dholak or tabla and the songs sung by the women. The jerky movements of the puppets are manipulated by strings held by the puppeteer during the performance. The Puppet seen here is probably of a queen who holds a sword and a shield. She wears a peach colour satin skirt and a shirt with beautiful butis (motifs). She also wears a turban and a crescent moon tilak on her forehead.
Brief Description This is a stringed puppet showing a female warrior or queen.