'Kathputli' — Ancient Art Form That Has Kept The Tradition Of Storytelling Alive

'Kathputli' — Ancient Art Form That Has Kept The Tradition Of Storytelling Alive
The idea and culture of puppetry dates back approx. 3000 years. It was first recorded in the 5th century in Ancient Greece. Puppetry is presented in the form of a live show which is a source of entertainment for all ages and is used as a means of storytelling.

There are different forms of puppetry – one is used by wearing gloves, finger puppets, shadow puppet, handled by strings. Specially-designed puppets are also used for the puppet shows. Asia is rich with culture and traditions and puppetry is used as a medium in schools or festivals to convey public message or moral stories. In India, Rajasthani puppets are called kathputli and the term originated from two unique words (Kath) means wood and (Putli) doll. Indian puppetry has recently gained significance popularity.

Great facial expressions, dynamic hues and balanced voices never fail to engage the audience. It gives an impression of best Rajastani puppetry and mirrors the way of life of the country. Puppets are made of mango wood and loaded up with cotton with painted appearances of cosmetics portraying the conventional culture of Asia. The puppetry for the most part is adorned with trimmings and gems with dull extravagant garments like wedding wear.

The female puppet is typically spruced up like lady of the hour wearing the best chiffon or tissue made dupatta on head with glittery trim, wearing lengha or garara customary dress made of silk. Not simply this, they convey adornments to make it look significantly lovelier. And the male puppet wears customary silk shalwar kameez conveying woodwind or dholak in their grasp portraying the Asian culture. They are as a rule around 1.5 to 2 feet high. Long huge and adapted eyes grab the eye from the start. Thus, other Asian nations use puppetry as a medium to appreciate celebrations and culture.

In India, Bangladesh and other Asian nations, puppetry is viewed as one fundamental aspect of the way of life and is utilized as a medium to pass on a message to the general public.


Pakistan has a rich market of puppetry as well, especially Lahore. Alhamra Art Council has a history of hosting such events. Puppet shows or putli tamaahsas are also showcased on air on our national television on our festive occasions like Eids or kids time at 7AM. Few years back in Lahore every year a puppet show used to held in Qadafi stadium, where puppets show from all cultures were displayed as a summer and spring festival. Not just this they had puppet of different design like horse, 30 feet tall sting puppet, hand puppets, decorations all over the entrance greeting people.

People from all over the world would come to enjoy this festive occasion. People found it a source of entertainment and would bring their kids as well to enjoy this cultural festival celebrated just like any other occasion. The festival would also feature Rajasthani puppets all that way from India which would be popular among the buyers.

Rafi Peer Theater Is the oldest and largest puppetry company in Pakistan working since 1992. They have been organising workshops for students at the school level. They offer different workshops on music, dance, kathak dance, drama etc. This exhibition turned out to be an unprecedented success and helped Rafi Peer Theatre Workshop conceive the idea of a puppet museum. Years of hard work turned this dream into reality. Rafi Peer Theater has a training institute where they teach students dance and music which is a source of healthy entrainment. Puppet making workshop is another interesting skill the students learn in their training institute. Lastly, they also have an acting classroom where they polish your acting skills.


Puppetry is one wellspring of solid diversion I accept ought to be thought of and celebrated.