Puppetry is an ancient, popular form of folk entertainment. The string puppet in Rajasthan are called katputlis, or marionettes. The riveting histrionics of the puppeters, like the full-throated songs of the Mirasis, Langas and Manganiyars belong to old passtimes, epomizing a traditional, leasurely , pace of life. No village fair, no religious festival, and no social gathering would be complete without them. The traditional puppeteers were from the wandering communities of the Bhatts. They move from village to village with their box of katputlis, accessories and dhoklas during the festive seasons, returning to their villages to cultivate their small patch of land during the short rainy season.
Controlling the Puppet :
The puppet is manipulated by strings which are looped into the puppeter's hands and fingers. The puppet lie inert on the stage until they come to life when the strings are pulled. The puppeters are usually from one family, such as a father-and-son team.
Making a Puppet :
The typical Rajasthani katputli has a brightly painted face and a rough torso. Appropriate brightly coloured male or female costumes are fashioned by the puppeters themselves from patches of old cloth.