The Rajasthan Kathputli dance or Puppet show is famed throughout the world. The word Kathputli is made from two words Kath meaning a wood and putli meaning puppet. Basically Kathputli is a puppet made entirely from wood, covered with colorful dresses, with a metal wire tied to them, which acts as a string. A string marionette, the puppet is controlled by a puppeteers through this single string attached to the top of the puppet. The Puppeteer shows his skills through swordsmanship, horse riding, dancing, juggling and acrobatics, which makes the puppet show totally enthralling. Animal puppets are also used on the puppet shows of Rajasthan, but only their necks are movable. Most of the shows today showcase the famous Rajasthani historical tales and legends. The colorfully dressed puppets make the entire show totally heart throbbing.
The Rajasthani puppetry art, popularly known as Kathputli Dance originated thousands of years ago in the state. The art was initially practiced by the Bhati community of the state, as source of entertainment, as well as to impart social knowledge & moral education. Problems like dowry system, illiteracy, poverty, unemployment were often highlighted by these puppet shows in the days back then. Also, the puppet shows used to address issues like the importance of women’s empowerment and cleanliness.