Collection: Traditional Handmade Puppets

Step into the enchanting world of puppet magic from Nepal to India, where skilled artisans weave tales using strings and wood to animate mythical deities like Kumari and Bhairav, epic stories of Mahabharata and Ramayana. In Nepal, these charming puppets serve as cultural ambassadors, sharing the rich folklore of the Himalayan region with each graceful movement.

Through their intricate craftsmanship, these artists honour the beauty of Nepalese art and traditions, offering a captivating glimpse into the storytelling heritage of their land. Expertly crafted from clay and wood, these puppets embody the essence of traditional folk mythology, each one a testament to the artisan's skill and creativity.

Introduce these delightful companions into your home and let them weave their spellbinding stories into your everyday life. Bursting with vibrant colours and crafted with love, our puppet collection is a celebration of joy and imagination. Each puppet is a tiny masterpiece, handmade with care and attention to detail, ready to bring smiles and laughter to all who encounter them.

Explore the charm of Nepalese puppetry and let the magic begin as you embark on a journey filled with wonder and delight.

In India we work with Tholu Bommalata an unique form of shadow puppetry originating from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in India. It features life-sized leather puppets that are known for their vibrant colors. The performances showcase episodes from epic stories such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata and are accompanied by diverse narratives and songs. This art form is predominantly practiced by the Aare Kapu community and is centered in districts like Anantapur, Guntur, and Nellore.

Dating back to the 3rd or 4th century CE, Tholu Bommalata is mentioned in the 13th-century Telugu text, Panditaradhya Charitra, and is also referenced in inscriptions from 1208 CE. This indicates its historical significance in southern India, with notable patronage from empires like the Pallava, Chalukya, and Vijayanagara.

Traditionally, Tholu Bommalata is a hereditary craft aligned with the Chitrakar caste. Puppeteers, who are also craftsmen, typically form troupes with their family members. The lead puppeteer, supported by others, engages in singing, narrating, and performing during the show.

The puppets, which range between 1 to 2 meters in height, are meticulously crafted from animal hides such as goat, deer, or buffalo. They are articulated and painted on both sides, following specific iconographic conventions for color and design. Performances take place behind a large white screen, and light sources cast silhouettes and colored shadows. Although traditional oil lamps have been replaced by modern lighting, the narratives still include comedic interludes and character-specific entry directions. Music integral to the performance incorporates instruments like muddalam, mridangam, and shankha.

Despite its rich history, Tholu Bommalata has declined since the 1970s, leading many practitioners to shift to other professions. Efforts to revive this art form, such as obtaining the Geographical Indication (GI) tag in 2008, have been made, but challenges to its preservation persist.