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Kathputli derives from two words Katha meaning story, while the word Putli meaning puppet. These are doll-like figures made of mango wood, usually without legs and feet. String puppets or Kathputli dance in Rajasthan is an old tradition. The puppeteers are traditionally from the Bhatt community. The main puppeteer is the sutradhar and is accompanied by the bhagavat (narrator-singer), an assistant, and musicians for the drums, cymbals and the harmonium. A reed-like bamboo instrument that emits a shrill sound is peculiar to Kathputli.

Kathputlis are not merely 'Puppets on strings'. They are now increasingly being sold as souvenirs to tourists & people like me would like to collect these wooden dolls as showpieces (I bought a couple from Jaisalmer in Rajasthan). Closeup shot of these puppets can be seen here .

Seen here in Surajkund Art & Crafts Fair, these Kathputlis are being sold by grandmother & grandson duo. Who makes these Kathputlis? I asked...it was the kid's father (who's the elderly woman's son). I was attracted with the palette of colours around...truly the essence of India.

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Additional Photos by Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7851 W: 324 N: 16060] (56760)
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