Pinguli is a village located in the Sindhudurg District of Indian State of Maharashtra. The village has long been the hub for several ritual performance arts, the most important being puppetry. In general, stories from epics such Ramayana, Mahabharata, and Puran are enacted in these puppetry shows in an entertaining manner. In most of the stories, there are various characters representing good, bad and evil along with one of more comic characters popularly known as ‘Vidushak’. Due to lack of encouragement, this priceless heritage is in the verge of extinction. Some voluntary organizations have come forward to rejuvenate this dyeing art form. Shri Parshuram Vishram Gangavane has been working in the Sindhudurg region for more than three decades with the same mission. In this article we will take a look at different forms and features of this tribal heritage which still has the potential to provide mass entertainment.

Different Forms of Puppetry Show in Sindhudurg Pinguli Village

In Pinguli village of the Sindhudurg district is quite famous for puppetry shows. In the Pinguli and surrounding regions, you can see mainly three types of puppetry shows. Let’s have a close look at each of them.

  • Kalsutri Bahulya – In this traditional form of puppetry, the puppeteer manipulates the marionettes by the use of wires or strings. The puppeteer also uses his voice for the puppet characters. Stories of epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana are presented in these shows. To make the show more interesting and attractive, background music by local orchestra bands is used. In most cases, these bands use traditional Indian musical instruments such as tuntune, zanj, and dholak. It’s interesting to note that puppetry shows organized in different parts of the country use different types of puppets. For example, puppets of Orissa and Rajasthan don’t have legs. In Pinguli, puppets are dressed with colorful costumes, and keep only the hands and head bare.
  • Dayti – This is a popular form of shadow puppetry. An oil lamp is used from behind the screen in order to create shadows on the screen. Background music is also used to make the show more interesting.
  • Chitrakathi – This is another form puppetry in which a story teller or Sutradhar tells the story. Musical instruments like the taal, vina, and the huduk are used to create the mood with background music.

Features of Contemporary Puppetry Shows

In order to keep in tune with the choices and tastes of modern audience, puppetry in India went through several changes over the years. Below are some of the main features of contemporary puppetry shows in India

  • Glamorous lighting effect
  • Smoke-screens
  • Magical appearance and disappearance of characters
  • Frequent entry of joker characters
  • Symbolic characters such as long cloth-pieces, shoes
  • Fusion form of background
  • Frequent introduction of live persons in the show along with puppets
  • Use of black background

Some of the abovementioned changes are also noticed in some of the contemporary puppetry shows in Sindhudurg Pinguli village as well. Not to mention, you have to visit to Sindhudurg in order to experience all these.