- (Hindi: story puppet) A type of string puppet from the Indianstate of Rajasthan. The traditional wooden marionettes are carefullycrafted, decorated to represent specific characters, and dressed inlong skirts as they have no legs or feet. They are now also mass-producedto sell to tourists.
Kathputli puppeteers work in travelling communities,taking their stories of the deeds of kings and heroes from villageto village. The stage is constructed from upended wooden cots (charphoys),which are connected with a cloth to form a proscenium arch, knownas the 'Taj Mahal'; a curtain hides the puppeteers.
A puppet is often inherited as a family heirloom. When itbecomes too old and battered to be used, it is given a 'funeral' bybeing cast into a holy river to the sound of prayer. It is part ofthe tradition that the longer it floats the more it has pleased thegods.