KATHPUTLIS OF RAJASTHAN
What is Kathputli
Kathputli is an ancient and well-known form of folk entertainment that involves string puppets. Kathputli is a phrase created by combining two colloquial terms; 'Kath' which refers to wood, and 'Putli' refers to a doll. They define wooden dolls as a whole. The colloquial term, Kathputlis, adds to its mystique allure in the annals of colourful Rajasthan
One of Rajasthan's most popular tourist attractions is the Kathputli dance and performance. and Jaipur and Jodhpur are the primary centers where they are made. The Bhatt community both makes and performs with these puppets.
Kathputli Puppet Structure
The puppets normally stand two feet tall and have a wooden head with a prominent nose and eyes. The rest of the body is made up of brightly colored material and filled clothing that allows for unfettered movement. The puppets, unless they are horse riders, have no legs and are covered by a long pleated skirt. The head of the puppet has a lengthy thread that reaches the manipulator and then joins the midsection; the threads from the puppet's two hands are attached to the manipulator's hands.
Themes and Outfits of Kathputli Art
The outfits are traditional and regional, and the themes revolve around Rajasthani historical legends or local customs. A few personalities and objects are required, such as the court dancer, stunt horse rider, and snake charmer. The puppeteers that create and perform with these puppets are members of the wandering Bhatt communities, who have been performing for thousands of years.
Entertainment Purpose and Kathputli Toys
Rajasthan's puppets are one of the state's most well-known sources of entertainment. Puppetry is a form of art that is done by a Rajasthani society of farm laborers. These individuals, known as the Bhats, have been linked to Rajasthani string puppetry to keep their traditional occupation alive. They are originally from the Nagaur section of the Marwar region, and they perform all across the country to showcase their talent. They are also known as "kathputliwalas," and their puppet exhibitions are frequently held in the late evenings.
History of Rajasthan Kathputli
According to some historians, the Kathputli art history dates back thousands of years. Rajasthani traditional tales, ballads, and even folk songs all have references to it. Rod puppets, which are similar, can also be found in West Bengal. However, it is Rajasthan's incredible kathputli that made India one of the first countries to develop traditional puppetry. This art has been practiced by Rajasthani tribes since ancient times, and it has become an indelible part of the state's cultural richness and legacy. Without the Kathputlis, no rural fair, religious event, or social gathering in Rajasthan would be complete.
It is thought that the indigenous Rajasthani Bhat community began using Kathputli as a string marionette art some 1500 years ago and that it is because of their reverence for tradition that the art of Kathputli has survived the test of time. Kathputli tradition is centered on folk tales and folklore. Folk tales, according to scholars, depict the lifestyle of ancient Rajasthani native tribes, and Kathputli art may have evolved in present-day Nagaur and its environs.
Rajasthani kings and nobles were patrons of the arts and crafts for the last 500 years, encouraging artisans to engage in pursuits such as wood and marble carving, weaving, ceramics, and painting. In exchange for the artists reciting praises of the patrons' ancestors, and the patrons would look after the artists. The Bhat group claims that their forefathers performed for royal families and were rewarded with great honor and prestige by Rajasthan's kings.
Products out of Rajasthani Kathputli
Many vibrant coloured Puppets can be seen in Rajasthan and some of them are:
Ongoing Culture of Kathputlis
Artisans working now, descendants of the original Kathputli Wala community, are attempting to preserve the doll-making legacy alive. Tourists who visit Rajasthan generally carry back a pair of Kathputli, a man and a woman, as a memento of their vacation. The dolls are more than just props for a live performance; they're also decorative items. The dolls are currently produced in the cities of Jodhpur and Udaipur, where the performances are still performed regularly. Despite the passage of time and the entrance of various forms of art, Kathputlis, like the state's Ghoomar dance, are a part of Rajasthan's traditional culture. The Kathputlis of Rajasthan is known all over the world for its rustic features.