From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Tholpavakkoothu
Mains level : India's puppetry
A shadow leather puppet in Kerala’s famous temple art Tholpavakkoothu is being animated by a robot in Palakkad.
- Tholpavakkoothu or shadow puppetry is a temple art form which is prevalent in the Bhagavathy temples (mother Goddess) in Palakkad district and nearby regions in Kerala.
- Tholppava (Thol means leather, Pava means puppet) are moved with the help of strings, and their shadows are depicted on a screen with the help of a row of oil lamps in the background.
- The story of Tholpavakkoothu performance is from the Indian epic, Ramayana.
- In the olden days, it was performed elaborately over a period of forty-one days.
- The narrative used for the performance is a mixture of prose and poetry called Adalpattu.
Try this PYQ:
Q.With reference to Manipuri Sankirtana, consider the following statements:
- It is a song and dance performance.
- Cymbals are the only musical instruments used in the performance.
- It is performed to narrate the life and deeds of Lord Krishna.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1, 2 and 3.
(b) 1 and 3 only
(c) 2 and 3 only
(d) 1 only
Setup of the art
- Tholppavas are made of the skin of deer and the puppet forms are made by making small holes in the leather that is then attached vertically to a bamboo stick.
- Accompanying instruments include Ezhupara, Chenda and Maddalam.
- The artists have to undergo several years of rigorous training to master this art form.
- The puppetry is staged on a special structure in temple premises called Koothumadam.