Puppetry

Amar Singh Rathore

Kathputali

Rajasthan is famous for one particular style of puppets which is known as Marionette which means that puppets have to be manipulated from top through the threads. Rajasthan puppets are made of wood. Kath (wood) + Putali (puppet) has joined in making of animated objects for the performance.

Puppeteers come from a community of Bhats (genealogist) of Nagaur and around districts of Rajasthan. It is said that the Bhats adopted Kathputali from Mugal Courts i.e. from Persian puppeteers who played with paper machie puppets. The Bhats are also known as Nat i.e. acrobats.

             

Puppeteers say that they play the story of Amar singh Rathore, a medieval hero from Nagaur district who was serving in Mugal court of Shahjahan. But story of Amar singh is only the frame of puppet play. They use the court for playing on wonderfully animated puppets like dancers, snake charmer, sword-fighters, horse and camel riders etc. These puppets are the main attraction of their performance.

Puppets are carved and costumed by the puppeteers themselves. The marionette tradition has large possibility of developing in modern communication strategies.

Khathputali

Kachi Ghodi Dance

People of Rajasthan perform Rajasthan dances to express their emotions. These folk dances of Rajasthan display the rich culture and heritage of the land. Kachi Ghodi (dummy horse dance) is one of the most famous dance forms in Rajasthan and an exemplary folk art form. It brings out the vivid hues and the rustic charms of rural life in Rajasthan. Kachi Godi derives its name from the work Ghoodi meaning ‘mare’.

Kachi Ghodi of Rajasthan is performed by men on dummy horses. The dancers ride the dummy horses and move to the beats of drums, big airophonic instrument call Bankiya and thali (round metal plate). Kachi Godi of Rajasthan is a famous folk dance full of zest and colors.
The costume from hip down is a wooden horse and the footwork is coordinated with the beats of the drums and flutes to resemble the trotting movements of the horse rider.

One is always left awestruck at the skill of the performers and the labor that has bee put into fashioning out such attire.

The performers wield mock swords and play the part of the brave yet benevolent bandits of the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan known as the Bavaria. The dacoits of this region were the local Robin Hoods; they stole from the rich, oppressive landlords and distributed among the poor and the needy. Though denounced as criminals, these bandits were highly regarded by the common folk.

Their valor and humorous episodes of their exploits are the themes of Kachi Godi songs. Often Kachi Godi dances are performed as part of the marriage rituals and to entertain the bridegroom’s party, called baraat.