Sunday, November 30, 2008

I've Got You By the Strings........!

Everywhere, in every age, one of mankind's favorite forms of performing arts has been puppetry. It seems to have had it genesis in religious ceremony, in conjunction to priestly power. Some early evidence of puppetry have been found in Egypt, Greece and Rome.
Fertility was the hoped for effect of ritual use of this primitive puppet holding wheat, sun and with a movable phallus.

When the organized spectacles crumbled with the fall of the Roman Empire, the puppeteers moved on carrying their small worlds with them performing in the barbarian world unsung, and sometimes not noticed. These are early examples of puppets found in Roman ruins. Bearded puppeteer holding the string.

A puppet is an inanimate figure that is made to move by human effort before an audience. It is part of man's ancient urge to re-create life that results in this many-layered art. More diverse than painting, sculpture, dance, song, or story, puppetry has something in all of them. It is also a means of communication, an extension of human expression.
From the Nishka Indian culture..........this puppet has doors in its chest that open to reveal a painting of its soul, or spirit.

You can even pick up a handkerchief, or a necktie and give it emotion and life.
NeckTie Puppet
My version of a Handkerchief puppet.........This foundling has all her worldly possessions attached.
An example of a puppet theatre. This is the oldest puppet theatre in Europe. It is located in an 11th century Brussels church.

A puppet must always be more than his live counterpart-simpler, sadder, more wicked, more supple. It is created to perform, entertain, and to make a statement.
As does Charlie..............
Punch is considered one of puppets royalty. He had his early roots in Italy. After many years, he helped in the evolution of a unique kind of theatre. One where the audience is also involved. The special power of this type of punch puppet theatre is that Punch and his cast can be ready to play a special new drama in an instant, based on the audience. The legitimate theatre cannot do that. They must rehearse in most cases. The movies cannot do that either. Live puppet theatre can create a personalized show that has the ability to go beyond amusement.

Some American hand puppets of the 19th century done in a folk art style.

Somewhere someone may be making a puppet that resembles nothing human, or animal at all. It may be an abstraction, or anything!
An artist from Zurich conveys an illusion of life through the use of moving symbols......what will the next puppet be...........yours?


Iva said...

What a great, thought-provoking post Sue!! Thank you. It gets the mind working in the ways of the puppet and mini theaters! Your hankerchief doll is adorable. I love that old-time style about her. Look forward to your next creations! Have a nice holiday season. Hugs...Iva

Johanna Parker said...

Wow!.... I haven't made a puppet since I was a little kid, and it was either a sock puppet or the brown paper sack type..... the memory is getting a little fuzzy, but it would certainly be fun to 'try my hand' at it again :) FUN post Sue and I like your rendition too!

Have a great week!
~ Johanna
(PS.... I hope Jack behaves this week despite him telling you that he'll be awake and getting into mischief all week! That sounds like trouble!... HAHA)

burntofferings said...

very cool post sue. about 20 years ago for opie's birthday, i bought him a ventriliquist dummy from a magic store in n.y.c. his name is Vincent and he still creeps me out!
happy holidays