File spoon-archives/puptcrit.archive/puptcrit_1999/puptcrit.9902, message 73

Date: Sat, 20 Feb 1999 17:44:43 -0500
Subject: Re: PUPT: Re: Re: Novice


Yes, as usual you are very right the same type is found in India especially a
trick puppet that has two heads one hidden under the skirt of the other one.
The main string runs from the top of one head to the top of the other one. the
heads are a little heaver than you might expect. With a quick tug on the main
string the character does a flip and the skirt which is two sided changes the
character by revealing one head  (now on the top) and covering the other. I
used one made in India several years ago in a touring school show that
demonstrated several types of puppets while telling different stories (it was a
Ragabash production) I do not remember if the puppet had different arms for
each character, if it did it used 3 strings rather than two.

I don't remember where I first saw the two string puppet (like 20 years ago)
but I remember that for one reason or another it was referred to as a Turkish
Marionette. Styles do travel.

One reason that it works so well for small children is that it does not tangle
very easily, and you can use two different colors of string to help keep them

I have used it several times and have always beed amazed at it's simplisity and
how well it works.
I used to use one in the hospitals when I worked with the Big Apple Circus
Clown Care Unit. and it was great to watch the little kids take the puppet from
me and make it dance while my partner played.

Have you ever tried uncoated brass weilding rods, very cheep and I like the
feel better than steal.



Stephen Kaplin wrote:

>         Steven,
>         I think that the style of marionette that you refer to is from
> Rajastan, in Northern India.
>          Another real simple style is the Sicilian marionette (or the
> similar ones from Northern France and Belgium) They have a rod control
> attached to the top of the head which can give you much firmer control of
> the puppet's lower body. You can even make them walk tolerably well with a
> deft side to side rotation. And if steel rod is out of your budget, you can
> use a piece of straightened coathanger wire for the control rod. The hands
> are strung with a long loop, as are the Rajastani puppets.
>         i don't know about kindergardeners, but substituting a wire for the
> head strings sure cuts down on the time you'll spend untangling knots-- and
> the men don't have to wear skirts (unless they want to.)
>                         Stephen Kaplin
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