Indian Shadow Puppets

In shadows cast on a cloth screen, gods battle against agents of evil. Awe and divine inspiration unfold night after night through the Hindu epic of Ramayana. This act of religious devotion, often performed in front of a temple, also … Continued

Rod puppets from Java

The show takes place outside, blocking the street for most of the evening. As he manipulates the figures, the puppeteer’s head is in full view of the audience. He introduces the story and announces the puppets as they appear on … Continued

Egungun Masquerade

Egúngún, which can be translated as ‘powers concealed’ is an annual or biennial masquerade festival held by Yoruba-speaking people in Nigeria. It takes the form of masked and costumed performers moving among the crowd, through the streets. An Egúngún masker … Continued

Shadow Puppets from Java

Shadows cast by elaborate leather puppets performing Indonesian versions of Indian Hindu epics. On a portable stage, the puppeteer-priest sets up his framed screen and lamps. He will thrill and enchant a crowd with his puppets. To the women, seated … Continued

Bamana Animal Puppets

It is a hot Savannah night. Festive drumbeats urge people to the village square. One after another giant animals arrive, their grass costumes fly as they swing and sway. Hidden inside each frame, men dance and work the puppets. The … Continued