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Puppetry - Cultural Art

Essay by   •  October 24, 2011  •  Essay  •  811 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,243 Views

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Assignment 2: Art Forms



Puppetry, one of the oldest cultural art forms in existence and has been around since ancient times, possibly 30,000 years old. Puppets come in various types, sizes and have many different appearances. A puppet is a figure or performing object which is moved or controlled by a person who is called The Puppeteer. The puppets movements are usually controlled by strings, sticks, human hands or even fingers. The puppets will perform an act or show of some sort in front of an audience.

Puppetry is considered an art form in numerous ways. Puppetry can take many forms. However, they all share the process of portraying expression or emotion of an inanimate object. More ancient puppetry began with Indians who used these puppets to recite poetry and used what was called shadow puppets. These puppets were made from paper sculptures. Shadow Puppetry was heartfelt and included music.

A puppeteer has to have much skill to operate their puppets. The puppeteer manipulates the puppets and they are brought to life and create a theatrical experience for its viewers. The puppeteer has the ability to communicate various dramas through an arrangement of movements, sounds and colorful costumes. With the characters played by the puppets, short shows or skits are played out to entertain its crowd. It takes creativity from an individual to write these skits or short stories.

A lot of creativity goes into the making or creating of the actual puppets. Many different puppet types came along after shadow puppets. They eventually started making them with wood and strings, adding joints on the body of the puppets. This gave the opportunity to make for more realistic movements on the puppets. Puppets were and continue to be designed by many artists from all over the world and a lot of work is put into creating them, which is why Puppetry is considered an art form.

The oldest historical evidence of puppetry in China comes from a letter written in 982 A.D. An ancient painting exists and is dated back to 2500 BC, which portrays a child watching a puppet show. The oldest of puppetry is Shadow puppetry and the legends say that an old emperor who had lost his wife became very depressed and was unable to get over his grief. It affected his ability to reign over his Empire. Ultimately, a minister helped to create shadow puppetry and was able to find a magician to create a silhouette to look much like the deceased wife. Thereafter, the Emperor became calm and was able to overcome his mourning.

Puppetry became a way of teaching different things to people who did not know how to read. Such as great religious epics, religious ceremonies, and things related to politics. It was also a way to share religious literature. Puppetry



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