Sakhi Kundhei



  • A type of Indian puppet show found in the eastern state ofOrissa. The plays are usually performed at village festivals or fairsand the travelling puppeteers are often families, who depend upondonations collected from the villagers. The form is also known asSakhi Nata, Kundhei Nata, and Gopa Lila, termswhich refer to the dancing of the marionettes. The puppets have headsand hands made of paper or light wood and stand about 18 inches tall.Animal puppets also exist, especially elephants, tigers, horses, andgoats.

    The stage, resembling that of the Kathputli of Rajasthan,has a curtain about three feet high to mask the puppeteers and isoften decorated with pieces of colourful cloth. The stories, whichare based on events in the life of Lord Krishna, are narrated by musicians,who sing folk tunes or adapt popular songs from films. The musicalaccompaniment is provided by a harmonium, cymbals, and pakhavajdrum.