Master the Strings

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By jwblackwell



9 Questions

What is puppetry?

Where can evidence of puppetry in Ancient Greece be found?

What are some of the different types of puppets?

What is the significance of puppetry in different societies?

What are some unique puppetry traditions in different regions of the world?

What is the history of puppetry in China?

What is the origin of wayang kulit?

What is Jim Henson known for?

What is the purpose of the Jim Henson Foundation?


Puppetry: An Ancient Form of Theatre

  • Puppetry is a form of theatre that involves the manipulation of inanimate objects, often resembling human or animal figures, by a puppeteer.

  • There are many different types of puppets made from a wide range of materials, from finger puppets to marionettes, and they can be extremely complex or very simple in their construction.

  • Puppetry is an ancient art form, with evidence of its use in Ancient Greece dating back to the 5th century BC, and possibly originating as far back as 3000 years BC.

  • Puppetry occurs in almost all human societies, where puppets are used for entertainment, as sacred objects in rituals, as symbolic effigies in celebrations, and as a catalyst for social and psychological change.

  • Different regions of the world have their own unique puppetry traditions, including rod puppets in West Bengal and Orissa, shadow puppetry in India, and the water puppetry of Vietnam.

  • In China, puppetry dates back 3000 years, and by the Song dynasty puppets played to all social classes, including the courts.

  • Japan has many forms of puppetry, including bunraku, which developed from Shinto temple rites and became a highly sophisticated form of puppetry.

  • The Indonesian wayang theatre was influenced by Indian traditions, and wayang kulit, an elaborate form of shadow puppetry, is very popular in Java.

  • Puppetry is still performed in rural Africa to transmit cultural values and ideas that are increasingly undertaken by formal education, books, cinema, and television in large African cities.

  • Puppetry is also used in therapeutic contexts, such as in hospitals and care homes, to help patients connect with their emotions and memories.

  • Puppetry is a versatile art form that can be used to tell a wide range of stories, from fables and legends to contemporary social and political issues.

  • Puppetry requires a high level of skill and creativity, with puppeteers often working in teams to bring their creations to life and engage audiences of all ages.A Brief History of Puppetry Around the World

  • Glove puppets are popular in Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, West Bengal, and Kerala in India and are capable of producing a wide range of movements.

  • Afghanistan has produced a form of puppetry known as buz-baz where a puppeteer operates a marionette of a markhor while playing a dambura.

  • Middle Eastern puppetry is influenced by Islamic culture, and Karagoz, the Turkish Shadow Theatre, has widely influenced puppetry in the region.

  • In Iran, puppets are known to have existed much earlier than 1000 AD, but initially, only glove and string puppets were popular.

  • Italy is considered by many to be the early home of the marionette due to the influence of Roman puppetry.

  • Guignol is the main character in the French puppet show which has come to bear his name.

  • The traditional British Punch and Judy puppetry traces its roots to the 16th century to the Italian commedia dell'arte.

  • Many regional variants of Pulcinella were developed as the character spread across Europe.

  • There is a long tradition of puppetry in Germany and Austria, and much of it derives from the 16th-century tradition of the Italian commedia dell'arte.

  • Marionette puppet theatre has had a very long history in entertainment in Prague, and elsewhere in the former Czechoslovakia and then in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

  • The United States has a rich history of puppetry, and Jim Henson, creator of The Muppets, is one of the most famous puppeteers.

  • Australia has a thriving contemporary puppetry scene, and the country has produced several internationally acclaimed puppeteers.

  • In South Africa, puppetry has been used as a tool for social change and political commentary, and the country has produced several world-renowned puppeteers.A Brief History of Puppetry Around the World

  • Czech puppeteers played a key role in founding UNIMA (International Puppetry Association) in 1929, and were elected its first president.

  • In North America, Europeans brought their own puppet traditions with them, but gradually distinctive styles, forms and puppet characters developed.

  • Marionette puppetry was combined with television as early as the 1940s, with Howdy Doody of the United States being a notable marionette in this field.

  • The Aboriginal peoples of Australia have a long tradition of oral storytelling which goes back many thousands of years. They used masks and other objects to convey deep and meaningful themes about morality and nature.

  • Puppetry began to inspire artists from the 'high-art' traditions in the 19th century. In the 20th century, puppetry developed in a variety of ways and now reaches a larger audience than ever.

  • The Jim Henson Foundation, founded by puppeteer and Muppet creator Jim Henson, is a philanthropic, charitable organization created to promote and develop puppetry in the United States.

  • The International Puppet Festival (PIF) has taken place annually in mid-September Zagreb, Croatia since 1968.

  • Types of puppetry include marionettes, hand puppets, shadow puppets, rod puppets, and ventriloquist dummies.

  • Puppetry is used in various forms of entertainment, including theatre, film, television, and street performance.

  • Puppetry has been included on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists in several countries, including the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Turkey.

  • Puppetry has influenced artists in other fields, such as writers, painters, and directors.

  • Puppetry has been used for educational and therapeutic purposes, including in schools and hospitals.


How much do you know about the ancient art form of puppetry? Test your knowledge with our quiz on the history, traditions, and techniques of puppetry from around the world. Discover the different types of puppets, from marionettes to shadow puppets, and learn about their cultural significance. Explore the role of puppetry in entertainment, education, and therapy, and find out about its influence on other art forms. Whether you're a puppetry enthusiast or just curious about this fascinating art form

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