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Dienstag, 8. Dezember 2015

Indian Puppetry and Puppet Stories

Back of the Book 
Whoever in India has not seen Rajasthani puppeteers wearing colorful who make their Kath putlis dance and execute action right in front of the band of fascinated children (and adults)? Indeed puppetry is one of the most ancient skilled are forms in this land and virtually exists in all states. The puppets are animated objects that perform like characters in theatre and often much more. Especially for children it is willing suspension of disbelief and thereafter huge enjoyment of the antics and frolics of the puppets performing and enacting stories right before their eyes.
In fact all puppets enact stories even if in rudimentary forms at times. Myths and legends come alive in the stories narrate here. Animals perform likeable characters. Flowers and plants converse fold tales re-create their milieu fairies float in and out. Superstitions are taken by the harms in moral tales. Toothbrushes and combs traipse through strange tricks. Ghosts just come alive and have great fun. And aliens descend to earth to share secrets with kids.
And it is primarily the kids (and adult who hold their belied in kids) who are most likely to have a rollicking time with animated puppets. This book tells that here are many more puppets then only the Rajasthan Kath Putlis and they can do myriad things that are written about in these pages so go ahead and have fun!.

About the Author
Sampa Ghosh joined Calcutta Puppet under Suresh Dutta in 1980. She received scholarship form min. of culture Govt. of India for puppetry in 1982-85 and participated more than 2000 shows all over India and Bangladesh as a member of CPT. She worked at SRC puppet repertory as its director in 1986-87 and directed four puppet plays which proved very popular. She participated in Indiana manifestation festival in Sweden in 1987 as the group leader performing 42 shows all over Sweden. She conducted many puppet workshops in India and Canada especially for children and teacher. She also directed two children productions and lec-dem on Indian puppets under the aegis of Kala Bharati in Montreal. Her book make your own puppets and Indian puppets with Utpal K. Banerjee has been highly appreciated.
Dr. Utpal K. Banerjee is an adviser on management and information Technology for nearly thirty years after having studied on a doctoral programme in the U.K. He has a abiding interest in Indian art and culture. His formal exposure to visual and performing arts of the world has been through courses conducted at extra mural department. University of Manchester. He has been national project director for Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA). In the nineties he has been utilized by Indian Council for cultural Relations to lecture on Indian Art and culture in Canada in 1990 and in South American in 1998. he has given lectures on Indian art and culture for the IFS probationers and in the foreign service institute to the Afro Asian diplomats. His article on role of cultural diplomacy appeared in the prestigious tow volume work Indian foreign policy agenda for the 21st century from FSI. His latest contribution on Ruled by the religion has been included in the magnum opus Spectacular India published from the USA in 2000.

Puppetry is a highly ancient art form haloed in Indian traditions and practiced since the old time by the village communities both for entertainment purpose. Nearest to theatre puppetry can enliven situations that are denied to there arts forms. For children it remains one of the most trusted mean of entertainment as they can easily suspend disbelief and get delightfully swayed by the action gestures of the puppets playing in fronts of them. Precisely for the same reason puppetry can be used for teaching them lessons on morals and for the very young codes of behavior.
In the first part of the book puppets are introduced along with a short history. Basically there are four classes of traditional puppets glove, rod, string, and shadow (colored and black and white). The art of puppetry is remarkably will disturbed to Southeast Asia. Contemporary Indian puppets are a comparatively recent urban phenomenon and can assume many innovative hues and colors in the hands of professional artists. Indian tribal puppets are covered too. Sans manipulation puppets are inanimate objects but matriculation by trained puppeteers infuses life into them. Surprisingly even children can learn fast to manipulate puppets and hugely enjoy the process!
Considerable light is thrown on production plays including scripts voice modulation stagecraft scenery sets properties special effects and music and last but not the least story telling. Indeed in story telling that is the raison d’etre for puppetry!
In the second part as many as thirty two stories are offered for being told through puppetry. It must be emphasized here that these stories are structured in such a way that an ingenious puppeteer can add new characters and modify text at will according to exigencies of the situation. The stories begin with those told without words as they are easiest (and often the funniest) to execute and can accept any amount of additional frills! Then fellow the myths and legends animal stories nature stories folk tales fairy tales; moral tales; behavioral tales; some delightful ghost stories and children centric science fiction. The types of puppets stage props, music etc. mentioned with each story are only indicative in nature and can be changed during performance if need be.
The authors are thankful for many suggestions photographs received to illustrate the text. They would be particularly gratified if the book almost a first of its kind in India is of use to the masses of school in India. Where teacher desperately need basic knowledge as well as story material for teaching and staging puppetry.


Part One – Indian Puppetry  
What is Puppet? 8
Short History of Puppets 8
Types of Puppets 10
Traditional Indian Puppets 11
Indian Tribal Puppets 22
Contemporary Indian Puppets 23
Manipulation of Puppets 32
Production of Puppet Play
Scripts, Properties, Voice Modulation
Special Effects, Stage, Dance & Music
Scenery Lighting Set Story Telling
Part Two – Puppet Stories  
Stories without Words
-- The Doctor and the Patient
-- The Quarrelsome Monkeys
-- The dream
-- The Enemy
-- The Fishing Rod
--The Snakes and the Snake Charmer
Myths and Legends
--Birth of Puppets
--Gods Go Round the World
-- Birth of Ganesha
Krishna and the Fearsome Kaliya
Animal stories
-- The Birthday
-- Three Billy Goats
-- The Wicked Tiger
-- The Crocodile and the Fox
Nature Stories
-- Who will be the King?
-- The Nature Teacher
-- The Monkey Gardeners
Folk Tales
-- Raju My Baby Brother
-- The Thin Old Widow
-- The Fox’s Marriage
Fairy Tales
-- Kanchanmala
-- The Princess and the Frog
Moral Tales
-- Death of a Cat
-- The Talisman
Behavioral Tales
--Lazy Munni
--Careless Munni
Ghost Stories
-- The Ghost who Sang Songs
-- The Colorful Ghosts
-- The Ghost of High Seas
-- The Long Legged Ghost
Science fiction
-- Mithu on the Rocket
--The Alien

Rupa-Pratirupa: The Body in Indian Art - Bestselling Books on Indian Art

About The Author
Dr. Naman P. Ahuja is Associate Professor of Ancient Indian Art and Architecture at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi where his research and graduate teaching focus on Indian iconography and sculpture, temple architecture and Sultanate period painting. He has curated several exhibitions on themes ranging from ancient to contemporary Indian art.
He has held Visiting Professorships and Fellowships at Fellowships at Florence, Zurich, Oxford and SOAS (London) and Curatorship of Indian Sculpture at the British Museum.
Some of His publication include: The making of the modern Indian Artist Craftsman: Devi Prasad (Routledge, 2011), Divine Presence, The Arts of India and the Himalayas (Five Continents Editions, Milan, 2003, in English Catalan and Spanish); and The Body in Indian Art and Thought (Ludion, Belgium 2013, in English, French and Dutch).

The exhibition ‘The Body in Indian Art' is significant to National Museum for y reasons. It is one of the largest ever mounted at the Museum. The exhibition brings together over 350 objects from over 40 museums and private collections, with National Museum contributing a large number of exhibits from its vast collections. Visitors have an opportunity here to view works which have never before been publicly exhibited or published. The exhibition I also a collaborative project, bringing together expertise from outside the museum to complement in-house capabilities.
The exhibition was on display in Brussels as part of the Europalia festival, a project of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, in 2013. We would like to record our sincere gratitude to the ICCR for permitting us to mount the exhibition on its return to India.
Exhibition curator Naman Ahuja's vision is grounded in the plural history of India: balancing the art and material culture of every region and every epoch, deluxe objects made for maharajas and everyday terracottas and wooden images of the everyman and everywoman. It compares the art expressions of different philosophical and cultic persuasions to present the material in a scholarly yet approachable manner. Above all, this vision is aesthetically precise and exacting.
National Museum would like to thank all the lenders to this exhibition without whom its narrative would not be as rich and wonderful as it is. We would also like to acknowledge the work put in by the various teams at National Museum and Naman Ahuja's team who worked tirelessly to create this unique exhibition.
It is a matter of great pride for National Museum to present it to the public.

This publication accompanies the exhibition 'Rupa-Pratirupa: The Body in Indian Art' held at the National Museum in New Delhi from 14th March to 7th June 2014. It contains a complete list of all the exhibits and detailed notes on some of the highlights of the exhibition. While it cannot reproduce the selections of music and films on dance and ritual performances, which enrich the experience of the artworks in the exhibition, it lists the films used and a CD of the music is included. These materials extend the remit of the exhibition to performative cultures that are intangible or ephemeral, that seldom have archaeological or material history, and equally rarely leave behind a literature that records the ritual or performance.
The intention of this volume is to aid the visitor's experience of the exhibition. For a more comprehensive stud) of the aesthetic, philosophical, archaeological and historical context, the interested reader may wish to refer to another book: Ahuja, Naman P. The Body in Indian Art and Thought (Ludion, Belgium, 2013; also published in Dutch as India Belichaamd and in French as Corps de'Inde). That book was published on the occasion of the exhibition in Belgium.
While maintaining the same basic structure as well as drawing on some parts of it, this book presents a more descriptive and synoptic view of the objects themselves as well as the overarching ideas of galleries in which they are placed.
It employs a standard transliteration into English of Indian languages, using diacritical marks in the explanatory narrative. However, for ease of reading by all, labels and captions have been transliterated into their commonly-used English equivalents. Thus, labels read 'Krishna' while the text reads 'Krsna.' In cases where Prakrit words are so divergent from Sanskrit ones as to prohibit ease of understanding, Sanskrit terms have been used. Arabic and Persian are also transliterated into their most commonly accepted forms of romanization. However, where Hindustani words better express concepts as they are understood in India, these have been substituted. Place names are provided in standard modern usage rather than in transliterated roman script.

Rupa- Pratirupa: The Body in Indian Art of the largest exhibitions of classical art staged in the last 25 years. Sourced from 42 museums and cultural instiutions in India, this exhibition of over artworks is presented in eight themes. The eight sections in this book relate to the galleries in the exhibition. They are designed to balance each other. If concepts d the death of the body inform our understanding of how it is memorialized, represented and made eternal in Gallery d as of how immortal bodies are represented form the subject of Gallery 5. While matters of cosmology and fate are concern of Gallery 4, what inspires righteous action and individual agency is ted in Gallery 6. Creation, birth and itself, determined by desire, miracles and forces beyond human control, are discussed in Gallery 3, while Gallery 7 shows how human ascetical power can conquer desire and rebut societal norms. And while Gallery 2 explores how 'truth' cannot be represented in bodily form in transient and illusory life, Gallery 8 is premised on the idea that the aesthetic sensorium of art is itself 'truth.'
The artworks are assembled to provoke larger questions: Where do society's archetypes of heroism and valour rest, for example? What motivates abstinence and asceticism? How does a civilization view the rites of passage, death, and birth? To what extent do Indians believe that the body's fate is destined or predetermined, and to what degree is fortune in the hands of those people who shape it for themselves? Through art, the exhibition shows the body as a site for defining individual identity and negotiating power, and as a richly-layered exposition that reexamines classical history in the light of changing views of social exclusion, gender and sexuality.
The exhibition is conceived in a cyclical manner, both clockwise and anti-clockwise. Going anti-clockwise, it takes us from a celebration of the mundane physical body to its aspirations of heroism, asceticism and eventually to the divine and philosophical concepts that inform Indian sensibilities. Going the other way is a more challenging circuit that makes the viewer realize how much the metaphysical has informed our daily lives. Every gallery in this exhibition includes a modern or contemporary work, which either shows how contemporary India has inherited its legacies or serves as a counter-point, the voice of a modern society's dialogue with its past. Modern and contemporary artworks in the exhibition are not just from metropolitan studio practitioners but also from traditional craftspeople (folk and tribal') and from popular print culture.
The exhibition addresses complex ideas about the body from a range of Indian philosophies and across many periods of history. Such an undertaking could run the risk of collapsing difference or diversity and presenting a homogeneous, essentialized vision of India. An awareness of this has been constant in the curating of this exhibition. The plurality portrayed offers an opportunity to see how diversity is accommodated. Yet, India's diverse voices, opinions and expressions have not always had a harmonious coexistence. Dividing lines exist between religions and within religions. They exist among classes and castes, and between rural and urban, ancient and modern, male and female. Each gallery in this exhibition seeks to indicate these divides, for in the ruptures and interstices of differences lie the spaces in which historical continuities may be found.
The exhibition's framework permits us to scrutinize how cyclical views of time and cosmology intersect with linear histories; how ancient cultural concepts are invoked recurrently through historical eras, and how these histories influence and affect each present. At the same time, commentaries on texts by ancient and medieval writers, their reinterpretations, and the history of schisms within religious sects are fundamental to the presentation of a historically-informed reading of Indian art. Myth provides compelling archetypes with which individual histories have intersected to such an extent that they have emerged repeatedly through time, although with different inflections.
A project such as this presents many challenges. The libraries of the worlds of Sanskrit, Pali, Persian, Hindi, Tamil and other Indian languages are probably the largest surviving literary corpus of any civilization in the world. Vast bodies of material interweave history, myth, science, psychology and fiction with liturgical ritual texts, making it very difficult to posit neat chronologies when looking at art. The work of art may be from one age, for example, and thus historically grounded, while its subject matter could well be drawn from earlier ideas. Myths current in past times continue to survive in later sculptures or paintings. Sometimes myth is invoked to legitimize the political status of patrons who see identification with mythical gods and heroes as lending them strength. Further, these myths may never have been part of an elite literary tradition but may have come from traditions of folklore. And sometimes, myths, cosmologies and rituals are altered to accommodate new ideas and exigencies.
The importance of the body in Indian culture is visible in many ways. Entire temples have been devoted to parts of the body. The most sacred goddess temples, for instance, hark back to the myth of the body of Devi, which fell in different parts of the country. The myth is common all over Hindu India, and several regions claim to temples dedicated to the same part body. As many as seven temples are ftClDgl1lized as places where the goddess's are believed to be fossilized. Other places are venerated for containing the r of the prophet Muhammad or a relic the Buddha, and others as places where body of a saint is buried. It is these t make places sacred, and often define routes of pilgrimage. The corporeal body is also the stuff of ritual: it performs the ritual; it offers itself to ritual, and parts of body are even used in rituals - thigh- bones are turned into trumpets and skulls used as feeding or begging bowls. The body may be a site of magic: nails and hair often referred to in popular beliefs and rituals, and hair is commonly sacrificed, sometimes symbolizing the renunciation f power, and at other times the surrender vanity. The body's parts may be made to talismans in silver, wood, precious stones or gold, and offered to a temple, a deity, a prophet or a seer in the hope that these mimetic offerings will bring a cure to the ailing body. The rituals of Tantra extensively incorporate the body, delving into, interiorizing and making personal such systems of knowledge that otherwise seem distant from society. Body fluids - blood, bile, semen, milk - are also highly symbolic, ritually used, medically treated and inspected to determine the fate of a body. These beliefs, rituals and practices are of no minor relevance to the history of a civilization and its fundamental ways of thinking about the body. However, the anatomical, physical, corporeal matter of the body is not, directly, the chief concern of this book or exhibition. Instead, we focus on what are the wider cultural factors, fundamental mythic archetypes and historical imperatives that can lead to a more informed understanding of what drives the representation of the body.
This provides a context for an art- historical appreciation of the body and its varied representations, and within this to look beyond the interpretative imperatives of iconography to iconology, allowing artworks to be placed within cultural contexts shaped as much by history as by aesthetic philosophy. Art production in most pre-modern societies was largely informed by religion, and thus comparative religious histories must provide an interpretive framework. The myths portrayed in the exhibition have been selected with care as they offer an empathetic reading of a civilization. But their points are not laboured in the hope that their rich metaphors can convey what was originally intended. Each gallery presents a few different examples of myths, poems and legends that demonstrate varied opinions. This apart, the objects have been selected as much for their visual appeal as for their importance in representing a plural history. Information has been drawn primarily from Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Islam. It is not used to serve as a general introduction to these religions but to see how they inform our appreciation of their material cultures. This makes it possible to present a variety of ideas that may not be conveyed if one were to study orthodox doctrines and sacred texts alone.


  Foreword VII
  Preface 1
  Introduction 5
1 Death: The Body is But Temporary 8
2 The Body Beyond the Limits of Form 28
3 [Re] Birth: 50
  [1] Light, Sound, Desire - Creation 52
  [2] Mothers: Graceful Creators and Dangerous protectors 64
  [3] Miraculous children 78
4 The Body in the Cosmos 88
5 The Body Ideal: Supernatural 108
6 The Body Ideal: Heroic 138
7 The Body Ideal: Ascetic 162
8 Rapture: The Body of Art 186
  Exhibition Music and Soundtrack


"Woman in Indian Sculpture" - Bestselling Books on Indian Art

About the Book
This monograph, first of its kind, surveys the female sculptures created by Indian artists through centuries, from an ancient era of Indus Valley Civilization to medieval times. Archaeological data is interpreted in the light of literary and cultural traditions of India.
'This work is not only a book about art, it is also an important document that has captured the significance of woman in traditional Indian society and richness of her life as she enacts her part in the drama of social life. Thus in addition to depicting women and the beauty of their form, this book provides the readers with glimpse in life and cosmology of ancient India.
'The reader is treated to range and variety of woman in all her manifest forms, from gentle to beautiful to wild and terrible'.
'The author has stressed the image of Indian women as icons of fertility, bounty and fruition.
' Various images the sculptors conceived of her as Mother Goddess, Yakshi, Devangana and Surasundari, Lover par excellence, One as found of Wine, Dance and Music, Shringara Nayika, paragon of Beauty and Intellect and also embodiment of forces of death and destruction, and made into sculptures, are described here in very lucid language, to give the readers an insight into Indian art.

About the Author
M.L. Varadpande, having well informed knowledge and appreciation of art, culture and literary heritage of India, is widely known for his erudition and scholarship. Author of many books he is associated with many academic and cultural institutions of repute. His major publications are:
Traditions of Indian Theatre
Krishna Theatre in India
Mahabharata in Performance
Ancient Indian and Indo-Greek Theatre
Religion and Theatre
Dictionary of Indian Culture
History of Indian Theatre, Vols. I,II,III
Sripad Krishna kolhatkar
(Published by the Sahitya Akademi, National Akademi of Letters, in Marathi, Hindi, Punjabi and other Indian languages)

This volume on the Woman in Indian Sculpture has stressed the image of the Indian woman as an icon of fertility, bounty and fruition. The author has written about the poetic conceit of the woman and the tree, quickening each other to flower and fruit, about yakshis apotheosizing the life impulse and vibrations of nature, about nayikas epitomizing the various games and overtures of love, and, about dancers and musicians, entertaining people or their gods. He has illustrated the image of the Indian woman through allusions to literature and the arts. The goddess, in her beneficent or terrible beauty, complements the image of woman as a creative and procreative person, a creature of nature and culture. Even though the author has offered an exposition of the conventional and popular view of the Indian woman, he still offers clues to help us transcend this view, and to explore the myriad possibilities, fulfilments and longings of Indian womanhood.

The female form is a delicate topic that can easily be misrepresented to border on the crass. It takes a scholar of the range and depth of M.L. Varadpande to execute this theme with the sensitivity and vision that one finds in this work. Varadpande has collected material in the form of photographs and descriptions of icons and sculptures from ancient India and embellished them with a text that speaks volumes about the range of knowledge possessed by the author.
The writing is based on sound scholarship yet entertains with the simple beauty of its prose. This book illustrates the manifold dimensions of woman's life in ancient India and her symbolic and cosmological significance. The nayika of Sanskrit literature is here captured in the splendour of her visual beauty. The myriad of forms in which the woman appears in Indian sculptures illustrate the multiple faces of her personhood and roles played by her in society. This work is not only a book about art; it is also an important social document that has captured the significance of woman in traditional Indian society and the richness of her life as she enacts her part in the drama of social life. Thus in addition to depicting women and the beauty of their form, this book provides the reader with a glimpse into life and cosmology of ancient India. The reader is treated to a range and variety of the woman in all her manifest forms, from the gentle and beautiful to the wild and terrible and yet in each form she is captivating and fascinating. The collection of photographs that accompany the text are of a high quality. In describing them the author has drawn upon the history of art, literature, mythology and his own interpretations. The term form is not limited to the external morphology only but to the inner dimensions of the woman, her emotions and qualities of mind and intellect. Woman is not a mere object but a symbol of the qualities of the universe of life and its energy, both creative and destructive. She is mother, lover and destroyer, embodying in herself both the positive and negative forces of the universe. This book illustrates the broad vision about women in South Asia and its culture and religion. The sub- stratums of this culture were based on the worship of the Mother- goddess. Woman has never been trivialized in this region but has been an object of awe and worship. In the patriarchal world of today this book gives a glimpse of a past where woman still reigned in the splendour of her form. This is a rare book that entertains as well as educates.

Foreword 7
Introduction 9
The Beginning 13
Early Representation 15
Woman and Tree 21
Yakshi 31
Mathura Beauties 37
At Her Feet 47
Wine And Woman 55
Dancer 67
Musician-Instrumentalist 77
Devangana-Alasakanya 85
Shringara Nayika 93
Lover 107
Beauty And Intellect 119
Lover of Jewellery 125
Woman Terrible 133
Select Bibliography 145
List Of Illustrations 147