Some forms of puppetry may have originated as long ago as 3000 years BC.
Puppetry takes many forms, but they all share the process of animating inanimate performing objects to tell a story.
A hand puppet is controlled by one hand which occupies the interior of the puppet and moves the puppet around (Punch and Judy puppets are familiar examples of hand puppets).
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India has a variety of types and styles of shadow puppets.
Shadow puppets are flat figures cut out of leather, which has been treated to make it translucent.
This led to puppet societies becoming secretive and exclusive. In the ancient Indian epic Mahabharata there are references to puppets. Padhye, introduced this form of puppetry to India in the 1920s and his son, Ramdas Padhye, subsequently popularised ventriloquism and puppetry. India has a rich and ancient tradition of string puppets or marionettes.
The Rajasthani Puppet from India is notable and there are many Indian ventriloquists and puppeteers. Marionettes having jointed limbs controlled by strings allow far greater flexibility and are, therefore, the most articulate of the puppets.
The puppets are built out of wood and the shows are performed in a waist high pool.