Kathputli Dance is performed during fairs and festive occasions. For a
performance, a small stage is set where the puppeteers would show
puppetry and narrate the stories. Music or ballads form an integral
part of Kathputli Rajasthan as the entire performance is based on the
ballad. Sometimes, the puppeteer accompanies the ballads with various
sound effects to give the show a greater impact.
These Puppet dances are based on well-known legends and are performed
by skillful puppeteers. Displaying his skill in making the puppets’
act and dance, the puppeteer is accompanied by a woman, usually his
wife, who plays the dholak, or drum and sings the narrative song. For
the performance, a small stage is set where puppeteers show puppetry
and narrate the story. During Kathputli dance, tales of romance and
courage are told with movements of string puppets. In the performance,
music or narrative song plays a vital role as the whole presentation
is based upon the narrative song. Sometimes, the puppeteer makes use
of a variety of sound effects to accomplish the reality impact and to
give a quality entertainment. The puppeteer shows all his skills and
talent to make puppets dance on his tunes. It recounts historic
stories, replay tales of love, and include high-pitched sound as the
puppet twirl and move excitedly at the time of performance. . In
ancient days, puppeteers were known to travel across vast regions
through a variety of villages in order to amuse people The puppet
shows also tackle some problems like the poverty, unemployment,
illiteracy, dowry system, women's empowerment, and cleanliness. Thus
these shows used to spread awareness about the social problems and the
ways to overcome them.
Dance or Rajasthani puppetry art is known to be introduced a thousand
years ago. At that time this art was practiced by the Bhat society.
After them this art was also practicised by dominant families in the
state and it became well-known in the region. At that time these
puppets were not only a basis of entertainment, but also provide moral
and social education. Different shows explain different problems like
the dowry system, women’s empowerment, illiteracy, poverty,
unemployment, and cleanliness and these shows help people to aware of
the social problems that everybody was facing and also these shows
also showed them the ways about how to solve these problems.
word is the combination of two Rajasthani language words Kath which
means wood and Putli which means puppet. Kathputli means a puppet
which is made completely from wood which are covered with cotton cloth
and joined with a metal wire which acts as a string (long fiber).
Being a string puppet, it is controlled by a single string that passes
from the top of the puppet over the puppeteers. Puppeteer show his
ability with strings like swordsmanship, dancing, horse riding,
juggling and acrobatics. Animal puppets are also used for the shows
like camels and horses but only their necks would be movable.