Putola Nach- Puppetry Art-form of Assam

A trust based in Assam recently made videos using the traditional art called “Putola Nach”. The art form was used to take the messages related to COVID-19 to the public through social media.

The videos were produced in collaboration with the UNICEF. The names of the videos were COVID Shatru (enemy), COVID Bibharat (confusion). These two were released in Assamese. Mama ro Mina ko COVID Katha (COVID Tale of Mama and Mina) was released in Nepali language.

Putola Nach

  • It is a traditional string puppet theatre from Assam in North East India.
  • The other forms of puppetry and shadow theatre have disappeared.
  • The Putala nach is also called putala bhaona.
  • Usually, Putola Nach is used to perform scenes from the epics such as Ramayana or Mahabharatha.
  • These dolls are 1.5 metres tall and are made of hollow wood or bamboo. Their heads are made of terracotta.
  • Musical Instruments used in performing the art are dhol, harmonium, kansi, double reed wind instrument and a bell metal plate beaten with a stick.
  • There were three different styles of string puppetry in Assam. They were Kalaigaon in Northern Assam, Barpeta-Nalbari in western Assam and Majuli “island” in eastern Assam.

Tholpavakoothu

  • It is a shadow leather puppet play.
  • In February 2021, it was animated by a robot.
  • It is a fine example of integration of Dravidian and Aryan cultures.
  • It is also called Olakoothu and Nizhalkoothu.
  • The Musical instruments used in the art are Chenda, Ezhupara and Maddalam.
  • The Chief puppeteer of the art is known as “Pulavan”.

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Comments

  • Dr.Cajetan Coelho
    Reply

    Puppet shows have importance for our Society. “Putola Nach” is a fine initiative. On the Indonesian island of Java in Jakarta, puppet shows depicting episodes from Ramayana and Mahabharata are great attractions.