Putul Nautch



  • A rod puppet theater in India's eastern state of Bengal. Thename, which means 'dancing dolls', refers to the fact that the puppetsare attached to long rods held in a cup on the waistband of the puppeteer,whose dancing action activates the dolls. Individual parts of thefigures can be manipulated by strings. The stories come from the Mahabharataand from such folk tales as that of Manasa, the snake goddess. Performancesoccur during rural festivals and fairs but are otherwise seldom seentoday.

    The wooden puppets are two to three feet tall and hollow.Earlier dolls were made of bamboo and plaster overlaid with bananaleaves.