जयपुर मार्च।21 मार्च को विश्व कठपुतली दिवस है, कठपुतली सामाजिक मुद्दों पर मोनोरंज्क और प्रभावशाली ढंग से बात रखने की एक महत्वपूर्ण विधा है किन्तु तकनीक के विकास के दौर में अब यह कला प्रायः लुप्तप्राय है. बनारस के एक सांस्कृतिक समूह “स्कार्ड्स सृजन कला मंच” ने इस कला को वाराणसी में समृद्ध बनाने की दिशा में सार्थक पहल की है. इस क्रम में विभिन्न सामाजिक मुद्दों पर आधारित “कठपुतली शो” कई स्थानों पर किये जा रहे हैं.
Kathputli is a string puppet performance and is an ancient and well-known form of folk entertainment. A Kathputli basically means a puppet made of wood. Kathputli dance and performance is one of the major tourist attractions of Rajasthan. The string puppets of Rajasthan are famous as kathputhlis in the local language and the main centres where they are prepared are Jaipur and Jodhpur. The Bhatt community makes these puppets as well as performs with them from village to village during the dry season when cultivation is not possible.
The puppets are usually two feet in height having a wooden head with a huge nose and large eyes. The rest of the body is prepared of colourful and bright pieces of cloth and stuffed clothes which also allow for free movement. Unless they are horse riders, the puppets have no legs but are covered with a long pleated skirt. The puppet has a long thread for the head which reaches the manipulator and then joins the middle”;” the threads from the two hands of the puppet are tied to the hands of the manipulator.
The costumes are regional and traditional while the themes that are performed turn around Rajasthani historical tales or local traditions. A few characters and items like the court dancer, stunt horse rider, and snake charmer, are a necessary.The puppeteers who make these puppets and perform with them belong to the traveling Bhatt communities who have been performing for thousands of years.
These string puppets are generally prepared from mango wood and are without hands and legs. Long Skirts cover the lower half of the puppet and is not attached to the strings. The hands are filled with cloth and cotton. The wooden face is hand painted with large eyes and other decorations are added to the face and the neck. While the upper portion of the female puppet is dressed in the choli and odhni, the male puppets are dresses in achkan and long kurtas, taking motivation from the Rajput Dressing Style. The vivid colors- green, orange, blue, and yellow- add to the attraction and inducement of the kathputli dance. These colorful puppets can be seen on all tourist destinations and be used as ornamental pieces to decorate your houses. They are cost effective and make excellent gifts.