Reviving Shadow Puppetry art form

Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), the non-profit organization has previously worked for the restoration of heritage structures of India.

However, heritage doesn’t comprise only of buildings but also of nature and culture.

Natural heritage comprises lakes, swamps, etc while music, art, tribal practices of a specific region constitute the cultural heritage.

The shadow puppetry of Tamil Nadu was striving to survive amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. At the beginning of 2021, INTACH took measures to bring the traditional folk art form under the banner of mainstream performances. Shadow puppetry, also known as ‘tholpaavaikoothu’ is a 400-year-old folk art form of Tamil Nadu.

All the members of the family of artisans are engaged in this traditional art form. The male figures of the family are engaged with the work of making the puppet, the wives are in charge of leatherwork and their children are in charge of singing or performing.

The puppetry is only possible because of their team effort. The art performance takes place in a temple during festivals and in villages. Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, INTACH raised funds and provided support to the puppeteers in Salem, Kanyakumari, Nagercoil, and Thirunelveli, etc.

I would like to request the editorial board to assign a journalist to take up INTACH’s effort in restoring and reviving the ancient art form of Tamil Nadu.

Links: INTACH: http://www.intach.org/

A video on ‘tholpaavaikoothu’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhhurGrKLA4