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They can be extremely complex or very simple in their construction.The simplest puppets are finger puppets, which are tiny puppets that fit onto a single finger, and sock puppets, which are formed from a sock and operated by inserting one's hand inside the sock, with the opening and closing of the hand simulating the movement of the puppet's "mouth".
Some very experienced puppeteers can manipulate their puppets to perform various stunts, for example, somersaults in the air.This led to puppet societies becoming secretive and exclusive. In the ancient Indian epic Mahabharata there are references to puppets. Padhye, introduced this form of puppetry to India in the 1920s and his son, Ramdas Padhye, subsequently popularised ventriloquism and puppetry. India has a rich and ancient tradition of string puppets or marionettes.The Rajasthani Puppet from India is notable and there are many Indian ventriloquists and puppeteers. Marionettes having jointed limbs controlled by strings allow far greater flexibility and are, therefore, the most articulate of the puppets.Marionettes are suspended and controlled by a number of strings, plus sometimes a central rod attached to a control bar held from above by the puppeteer.Puppetry is a very ancient form of theatre which was first recorded in the 5th century BC in Ancient Greece.Wayang is a strong tradition of puppetry native of Indonesia, especially in Java & Bali.
In Java, wayang kulit, an elaborate form of shadow puppetry is very popular.
Japan has many forms of puppetry, including the bunraku.
Bunraku developed out of Shinto temple rites and gradually became a highly sophisticated form of puppetry.
The actions, gestures and spoken parts acted out by the puppets are typically used in storytelling.
There are many different varieties of puppets, and they are made of a wide range of materials, depending on their form and intended use.
Puppetry is used in almost all human societies both as entertainment – in performance – and ceremonially in rituals and celebrations such as carnivals.