Glove Puppets in India

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : May 27, 2022, 14:23

Puppets are one of humankind's most incredible and creative inventions; they are incredibly captivating. There are mainly four kinds of puppets used in India:

  • Glove Puppets
  • Shadow Puppets
  • Rod Puppets
  • String Puppets

If you ask which one is the most used and enjoyed, the answer is Glove Puppets in India. They are also stated as palm, hand, or sleeve puppets. The head is cut out of cloth or wood, and you will see two hands just below the neck. The rest of its body is wrapped with pants, a skirt, or any other cloth. In glove puppet shows, the movement is controlled by human hands.

You must know that Glove Puppets in India are usually found in states like Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Orissa, and West Bengal.

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Glove Puppet Forms in India

Here is the list of various types of glove puppet shows that happen in India-

Pavakoothu- This is a traditional glove puppet play from Kerala. It started around the 18th century and is similar to that of Kathakali (the classical dance-drama of Kerala). Here you will see that puppet height usually ranges from 1 to 2 feet.

Head and hands are made up of wood, and they are covered and joined with a thick cloth and are stitched into a small bag. Their play is called 'Pava Kathakali' or 'Pavakoothu.

Beni Putul- This is the traditional glove puppet play from West Bengal. These puppets were used against British rule as a weapon of resistance. It became famous majorly in the districts of Murshidabad, East Midnapur, and 24 Parganas.

Sakhi Nach- This famous puppetry show from Orissa is usually based on Krishna and Radha. You will see these shows majorly in Cuttack and Bhubaneshwar. The Glove Puppets in Orissa are called 'Sakhi Kundhei,' and their play is known as Gopa Lila Kundheior Kundhei Nacha.

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Why is Glove Puppets Play Important?

Puppet Play encourages various traits, such as-

  • Dancing
  • Singing
  • Language Skills
  • Exploring Emotions
  • Improve Communication skills
  • Speaking in rhyme
  • Social & emotional development
  • Confidence, especially in honing one's speaking skills
  • Listening skills
  • Imagination
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FAQs on Glove Puppets in India

Q1. What are the different Glove Puppets in India puppets used worldwide?

Here is the list of Glove Puppets in India for you-

  • Black Light Puppet
  • Bunraku Puppet
  • Carnival Puppet
  • Light Curtain Puppet
  • Motueka
  • Object Puppet

Q2. What is Glove Puppets in India made of?

They are just like limp dolls, but it majorly depends on the creativity of puppeteers as they can create them in different ways. But, usually, Glove Puppets in India they are made in a way that the head is made up of linen, wood, or papier-mache, and two hands emerge just below the neck, while the remaining body is covered with clothes.

Q3. Why are Glove Puppets in India used?

A3) The puppet shows are found in almost every state and county; Glove Puppets in India are used for various purposes such as entertainment, rituals, carnivals, and events to narrate a story.

Q4. What skills can a student inculcate by watching a show of Glove Puppets in India?

There are numerous things that a child can learn from a shoe of Glove Puppets in India, such as.

  • Information about new characters
  • Storylines
  • They will be able to communicate with the puppet without being shy.