STRING PUPPETRY IN KARNATAKA
String Puppetry (sUtrda
ಗೊಂಬೆಯಾಟ) is an
attractive performing art practiced in Karnataka as in many other states of
The puppets of
The stage for a puppet show is very simple in its conception. It is a structure which is about 15 feet wide, 12 feet long and about 12 feet tall. The platform is created about one foot above the ground level. The stage is covered on three sides. The puppets are in front of a black screen and the puppeteers stand behind the screen and they are concealed by another black screen which is hung from above. All the puppets and the musical instruments are kept on the stage and worshipped before the commencement of the performance. After the pooja, the puppets are hung in a row from a rope so that the relevant puppet is picked up when needed. The puppeteers manipulate the puppet in a very skillful manner. The acrobatic movements of the puppets are astounding. A puppet is even made to smoke a cigarette. The male puppets excel in fighting. They dash against each other strike, chase, and grapple and fall dead.
The performances are usually based on mythological stories with which the spectators are quite familiar. aLLAcAry and an array of his wives provide comic relief. The dialogues are delivered and the songs are sung by the artists who accompany the puppeteers. Most of the songs are set to Yakshagana tunes. TALa, mukhaveeNa, canDe and maddaLe provide the background score.
Puppet shows continue to be popular even to this day. Many institutions such as Chitrkala Parishath, Bangalore, Folklore museum, Mysore University and Janapadaloka started by H.L. Nage Gowda have a huge collection of string puppets.
Karnataka Puppetry by
3. www.museindia.com/showissue.asp?id=1 (Yakshagana String Puppet)
4. www.indianetzone.com/29/gombeyata_puppet_thea... (An article and afew puppets)
5. http://www.yakshaganapuppets.com/images/bhaskar_kogga_puppets.jpg ( A puppeteer and a puppet)
6. http://www.yakshaganapuppets.com/images/string_puppets_sita_vanavasa.jpg ( A website on puppets and Seeta Vanavaasa Puppets)