Puppet craft enjoys a great patronage and a wide popularity in many countries of the world. In India too it is recognized as one of the distinct forms of art. Especially the Kathputli art if Rajasthan is one of the most widely loved puppet art of India. Here is a little description about this unique art of Rajasthan:

The meaning

The words Kathputli is derived from Kath means wood and Putli that stands for doll. The well stitched clothes draped by kathputli ad their expressive faced with big eyes and prominent features instantly attract the eyes.

History of Kathputli Art

Not many people would be aware that the art of making Kathputli is as ancient as 1000 years. A specific community known as Putli Bhaat holds the distinction as the forefathers of Kathputli art in Rajasthan. Right from the folklores of exemplary Rajput rulers like Prithiviraj Chauhan and Mahrana Pratap till the modern and light tales that range from famous acts and may even include modern jokes the art of Kathputli has been continually flourishing in Rajasthan and have been attracting the locals and tourists alike. At one point of time the Kathputli art was one of the major means of enjoying pastime. However with the introduction of various different means of entertainment including satellite channels and internet the art has suffered a lot.

Kathputli beyond Rajasthan

During the late years of 1960’s with the Rajasthan community migrating the Delhi the Kathputli art was first introduced in the Indian capital and met with a very encouraging response from the public due to the lively tales communication skills of puppeteer and the historical charm of the overall presentation. These Rajastahni immigrants also managed to start a slum in the interiors of Shadur depot. The slum, though devoid of decent living conditions, did provide them a permanent address and a feeling of belongingness. Magicians and other Rajastahni performers soon joined them. The honest efforts and talent is never wasted. So, recognizing and appreciating the efforts of these Rajastahni artisans the Delhi Government is running a project to revive the condition of these artisans.

The present status of Kathputli

Though the last few decades have done much damage to the popularity of Kathputli, it has also resulted in an increased organizational aware about protect the art. Apart from Bhartiya Lok Kala Mandal and Rupayan Sansthan, there are many organizations and individuals who are exerting immense efforts not only to keep the traditional art alive but also to help it grow by leaps and bounds an the results are positive. Lok Kala Mandal has also gone a few miles ahead and started a museum that is devoted to the art of kathputli. Buy online handicraft product

New hope for artisans

Apart from that the new, revived interest of homeowners in India and even in aboard, of using Kathputlis as a wall hanging has also widen the scope of income for the artisans of Kathputli. Tough some traditional people do argue that the same has interfered with the major objective of Kathputli tradition as they are meant to be used in presentation rather than being hanged on the walls, the ground reality is that it has also given one more reason to the Kathputli artists to remain associated with this exquisite art as they still see a commercial benefit of crafting Kathputlis. The shrinking number of audience that made them suffered a setback in the income is being complements d by the increasing number of the Kathputli buyers who offer a good amount for buying the Kathputlis made by these artisans.


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