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Leather puppetry

Facts for Prelims (FFP)


Source: TH

 Context: Leather puppetry, an ancient art form in Andhra Pradesh, is facing extinction.


What is Leather puppetry?

It is an ancient art form that involves the use of puppets made from goat skin. Puppeteers craft puppets depicting characters from Hindu mythology, and performances often revolve around themes from epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata.


Threats faced by puppeteers:

  • The majority of the Puppeteers, who originally came from Maharashtra and settled near Kakinada, have embraced other faiths and subsequently quit puppetry which is purely based on Hindu mythological stories.
  • Low Income: The puppeteers are struggling for livelihoods, with the impact of digital media and a decline in public interest.


What is Shadow puppetry and how is it different from Leather Puppetry?

Shadow puppetry is a traditional form of puppetry where puppets made of translucent material, often leather, are used to create shadows on a screen. Here the focus is on the shadows cast on the screen, and the puppets are typically made of thin, semi-transparent material like leather or parchment. Leather puppetry, on the other hand, involves the use of more substantial, often opaque, puppets made from materials like goat skin.