“Putola Nach”: Assamese string puppetry used in the Covid-19 awareness campaign

What is the News?

An Assam-based trust is promoting string puppetry called Putola Nach, amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Anamika Ray Memorial Trust(ARMT), an Assam-based trust in collaboration with UNICEF-Assam has produced three short videos using Putola Nach puppetry. These stories aim to create mass awareness of Covid-19 appropriate behaviour.

Putola Nach:

  • Firstly, Putola Nach is string puppetry of Assam. ‘Putul’ is a word that describes both a doll and a puppet in Bengali while the word ‘Naach’ means Dance.
  • Secondly, the puppetry is performed in three areas with distinct characteristics. These areas are:
    • The First area – Lower Assam: Here this puppetry form is known as Putala-Bhoariya and influenced by the popular folk form Bhoariya.
    • The second area – Majuli island (Upper Assam): Here small wooden puppets are used in the style of the Ankia Naat. (Anika Naat is an act developed by Sankaradev).
    • The third area is North Assam: Here the puppeteers use Bangla, Assamese and Karbi songs in their performances. These are largely borrowed from the mobile theatre of Assam (Bhraymaman).
  • Thirdly, the puppetry includes the episodes of the Ramayana, as well as scenes from the Mahabharata.
  • Further, the puppeteers also add dialogues or chants taken from bhaona (the local traditional theatre of Assam).

String Puppetry:

  • India has a rich and ancient tradition of string puppets also known as marionettes.
  • The puppets in this form have jointed limbs, controlled by strings allowing for more flexibility. This greater ability to control makes them the most articulate of all the puppets but also the most challenging.

Types of String Puppetry:

  • Kathputli – Rajasthan
  • Kundhei — Odisha
  • Gombeyatta — Karnataka
  • Bommalattam — Tamil Nadu

Source: The Hindu

Print Friendly and PDF