more ads
Kamat's Potpourri Amma's Column .
Kamat's PotpourriNew Contents
About the Kamats
Feedback
History of India
Women of India
Faces of India
Indian Mythologies
geographica indicaArts of India
Indian Music
Indian Culture
Indian Paintings
Dig Deep Browse by Tags
Site Map
Historical Timeline
Master Index
Research House of Pictures
Stamps of India
Picture Archive
Natives of India
Temples of India
Kamat Network
Blog Portal

Durable Link to this BlogTuesday, March 30, 2010

Puppet Theater in Karnataka

Religion and welfare of the people at large are the underlying thoughts of folk and traditional arts in India. In the age when even Cinema-scope and magic lantern were centuries away, Puppet shows were great crowd-pullers. Puppet-shows were arranged by the land-lords or the rich people, for good crops, to avoid epidemics and for the welfare of their family or community at large.

Deerskin or goat-hide formed the main basis for the shadow Puppets. It was boiled, processed and figures from mythology like Ravana, Hanuman and demons were drawn and cut. For the shadow play, light behind a screen gave the required effect. Deft fingers also behind the screen were moving the figures with strings and changing scenes. Instrumental music and good voices were necessary for effective narration. Talented artists brought mythology to life in the dead of night and the thrilled throng of people watched holding their breath. Such shows were free and held in the open space of the village temple.

The Puppet-artists formed a team and moved from village to village, during harvest season. Remuneration was in the form of grains, clothes and other provisions, provided by the sponsors or temple-committee, if it was a public show.

Tirumale Tatacharya Sharma (1895-1973), veteran Kannada freedom fighter and journalist, has left a vivid description of such a shadow-Puppet-show in his autobiography. "Thousands" of monkey-soldiers crossed the sea to fight Ravana's soldiers and as a child, it was a mystery how a small stage could accommodate so many soldiers! He has recorded how his grandpa, whom he accompanied, explained the mechanism of a Puppet-show.

The Killekyata community had excelled in providing this "moving theatre" in towns and villages of Andhra-Karnataka border. They claim their descent from Kaliketa Bommayya a Sharana Saint of 12th century, who moved places and spread the message of pious life and God"s grace, through anecdotes from Sivapurana. He was a good singer and actor.

©
Autograph of
Autograph of
Gandhi symbols

©
Autograph of
Autograph of
Behind the screen

Such Puppet-shows were put to national cause during Indian Freedom Movement. Very few Puppet-show artistes survive today. Belgallu Veeranna of Bellary is a gifted showman who has brought to life Gandhiji and his various Satyagrahas through his team. He can sing Bengali, Hindi, Kannada, Telugu and Tamil songs as the occasion demands. He has toured several countries, keeping this ancient art alive.

©
Autograph of
Autograph of

Belagallu Veeranna

See Also:
• Leather Puppets of India
• The Puppets of India
• Kamat Goes to a Puppet Show

Amma's Column by Jyotsna Kamat

More Entries...

Browse Amma's Column by Tags

1920s - ancient India - avatars - banana - bangalore - buddha - calcutta - christmas - coins - colin mackenzie - colonel - conference ii - conversions - cousin - cows - customs - dalit - democracy - dhols - dr narayan - drums - dung - fables - far east - gandhi - gandhiji - great deluge - guru - hinduism - home library - human body - idolatry - kalpa - karnataka - kautilya - kingdoms - krishna - manners - marriage - new books - new year - nuances - obituary - old temple - patience - personalities - peru - pontiff - postal service - prime source - queen - rao - relevance - religion - revolt - romance - runners - saga - saints - Saints of India - salt satyagraha - science - shaven heads - sher - sri lanka - suresh - terracotta - tradition - trauma - tsunami - tulunadu - unity - universality - women - zen - 11th century - 75th anniversary - alberuni - all india radio - amrita - ancient art - ancient india - ancient indians - animals - anmori - arthashastra - autobiographical notes - b_g_l_swamy - babies - basham - bedas - belief - bengaluru - bhagat singh - Bhagatsingh as seen by Kamaladevi. - bhagavata purana - bhagirath - Bhakti Cult - bharata - bhat - blouse - brahmin - brute - buddha jayanti - card games - cart - caste system - centenary tribute - centennial - chanakya - chariot - cheers - chilli - chinese monk - Christmas - christmas eve - cloud messenger - cockfights - code of manu - colonel colin - complete works - conch shell - cuisine - curry - customs - dasa - demons - dessert - devil worship - dhyan - dikshit - dikshitar - discovery - doldrums - eknath - elephant - empire - epigraphy - fanny - festival foods - festive - forest scene - freedom - gandhi - gandhiji - ganesh - gautama buddha - gayatri mantra - gesture - Goa - gods - gramophone record - grandmother - great men - grinder - guru - happy new year - haste - helping hands - hind swaraj - hind_swaraj - hindu - hindu religious symbols - hindu texts - hinduism - hindus - history conference - humanist - hunger - idolatry - indian civil service - indian names - indians - institution of marriage - interviews - jaina - juggernaut - kamath - kannada - karnataka - kasaragod - kavya - keladi - krishna - laughing buddha - legacy - lotus - loving touch - m n srinivas - mallya - mama - mango season - manu - masters - materialism - medieval india - memories - middle path - midwife - misadventure - moorthy - music tradition - musical - musings - narad - narada - new articles - night life - obituary - offerings - old photo - Om - ornaments - pai - pampa - panchatantra - peacock - peacock dance - peacock dress - pearls - philanthropist - pigeons - poet - poetess - potpourri - prayer - prehistory - promising artist - prostitutes - queen - quilt - rahul - rajasthan - rajendra - ramayana - ramdas - rao - rare volume - robber - roots - rubaiyat of omar khayyam - saints - sane guruji - saraswati - saraswats - science - scorn - sea navigation - sedam - serpent worship - shameful practice - sharana - shastra - shivaji - silver art - sorab - south east asia - south india - subba rao - sunset - swami - swamy - swastika - tara - tea - temple school - temple town - terracotta_town - three books - tiger - titan - tonsure - torave_ramayan - tradition - translator - travelogue - tree of life - tribute - tsunami damage - Tulasidas - tuluva - upanishad - vedanta - vedas - viswanath - Viswanath Kashinath Rajwade - vivekananda - w h sleeman - wall paintings - what is in a name - wilks -

Jyotsna Kamat

Jyotsna Kamat Ph.D. lives in Bangalore.


Introduction


ARCHIVES


Search Amma's Column


More articles by Jyotsna Kamat

 

 

 

Kamat's Potpourri Jyotsna KamatAmma's Column

© 1996-2016 Kamat's Potpourri. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without prior permission. Standard disclaimers apply

Merchandise and Link Suggestions

Top of Page