Beautifully handcrafted Rajasthani dancing men puppet / kathputli. In Rajasthan the puppet tradition is called Kathputli, where Kaath means wood and Putli means Puppet. Kathputli means a puppet made out of wood. However Kathputlis typically have wooden torso and shoulders while the legs (absent in the ones based on a female character) and arms are made of clothes stuffed with cotton. Kathputli’s are string puppets controlled by strings which passes from the top of the puppets and manipulated by the puppeteer. These highly decorative handmade puppets are the source of age old tradition of narration of historical stories, myths and legends. The narrations were accompanied with music and dialogues delivered by the group members. Kathputli became one of the most important and well know performing arts of Rajasthan and it represents the tradition, customs and socio-cultural backdrop of the state.
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Manoj Bhatt son of Bhajanlal Bhatt ji is one of the most revered artisans who is practicing this craft since he was fifteen years old. The puppets are hand crafted with some fabric and pure wood (kath). Kathputli artisans colour the wooden faces of these puppets as per the characters they play in a specific enactment. They paint them in a yellow shade where they hang their hands down with clothes made from cotton and fabric pieces. Other than puppets, Manoj ji also make beautiful Door Hangings using similar materials and technique as a way of bringing utility and functionality to this age old narrative craft.
Son of Bhajanlal Bhatta Ji, Manoj Bhatt is one of the most respected craftsmen who have been honing this skill since the age of 15. The dolls are handmade from cloth and pure wood (Kath). Kathputli artisans paint the wooden face of these puppets according to the character they play in a particular performance. They dye the area where they hang their arms yellow with clothes made of cotton and fabric. In addition to dolls, Manoj Ji uses similar materials and techniques to create beautiful door hangers, giving this old-fashioned storytelling craft usefulness and functionality.
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