Culture of the past: curiosities about puppets

Information about the doll

Dolls have been entertaining people for years. Dolls, which also have a place in Anatolian culture, date back to ancient Egypt. So what is puppetry and its history, what are its types?

Here is information about the colorful and different dolls;

What is Puppet?

Puppets are small puppets made by hand using the imitation ability of a single person. There are many types of dolls, the most common being the string ones. Today, the puppetry is trying to continue with various office works and festivals. The biggest event in puppetry is the Istanbul Puppet Festival. During the festival, it organizes workshops, conferences, films and animations.

History of the doll


The history of the doll goes back to ancient times. The puppet, which held a great place in ancient Turkish traditions, continued its survival in Anatolian culture through shadow plays. Today, shadow play is one of the plays that are widely performed especially during Ramadan.

According to the researchers, the first doll monster was found in Egypt. The sample found is said to be from before Christ. Pop culture has existed in Europe since ancient times. In ancient Greece, puppet shows were performed on the stages of theaters. Dolls were made in sizes large enough for everyone to see. In France, doll culture is one of the activities held in palaces, but in France, especially in public shows, the strings of dolls were displayed so that it would be obvious that there was no magic or magic in the piece shown.

Puppet show How to play?


Hand puppets or marionettes are small figures usually placed on the tip of a glove. The heads, hands and feet of these figures can be moved. Puppet games are a game that is often popular with children. However, puppets are also a tool used by adults and can be used in plays, educational presentations and even television shows.

The puppet show is quite easy to play and can be done in many different ways. Here are some steps to play the puppet show:

Puppet selection

Before you start the puppet game you have to choose a puppet. Dolls can be made from many different materials and come in different sizes. To make your own doll, you can buy the materials or buy a ready-made doll.

Story selection

The puppet show must have a story. The story should be something that children can understand and find interesting. You can write the story or use a ready-made one.

Using the doll

Before using the doll, decide which part of the doll you are wearing on which hand and how the doll should move. While moving the doll you can make sounds and use different facial expressions.

play the puppet show

To play the puppet show, tell your story and use the puppet as different characters of the story. As you tell the story, make the story more alive by using the doll’s movements and facial expressions.

End of story

At the end of the story, gradually reduce the doll’s movements, signaling that the story is over.

Types of dolls


There are many types of puppetry, which are popular and have a significant following. Here are some of those dolls;

1. Hand puppet

The extra doll, which has both very easy and very difficult examples, also has its own types. There are dolls with many functions, but also the types where only the arm and head can be operated by hand.

2. Arm puppet

Here too, the puppets made with the same logic are played by two people this time.

3. Finger puppet

This doll, which has a very simple shape, is played by one person by attaching it to the finger.

4. Glue doll

It is a kind of doll where the doll is controlled from below by means of rods. Such puppets are often played in the Indonesian islands.

5. String doll

It may be one of the first species that comes to mind when it comes to puppetry. The full doll is made by a master player who moves the hands and legs of the doll with strings attached.

6. Shadow Play Puppets

To put it roughly, shadow play is called all Hacivat and Karagöz games. It is displayed on a semi-matte stage with sticks from behind. Shadow puppets are very common in both China and Anatolia.

7. Black Light doll

The main player appears when playing such puppets. Those playing other dolls are not visible.

Examples of simple dolls


Making an average doll is not as difficult as one might think. First, let’s give a simple example of finger puppetry. The material needed for the finger puppet is a plastic bottle and crayons. As for the construction, cut the drinking part of the plastic bottle so that it remains 4-5 cm long. Then draw a facial expression on it with colored pencils if desired. Here is your finger puppet ready.

If you’re thinking about making glove puppets, we recommend doing it with socks. The materials needed for the hand puppet are a sock you like, buttons and a small piece of fabric. Look at the sock buttons first. Then cut the piece of fabric in the shape of a lip and sew it. If you want, you can make hair on your doll with woolen threads.

Another method of making hand puppets is to make them from a wooden spatula. The materials needed to make this type of hand puppet are “wooden spatula, woolen thread, colored pencils. To get started, wrap the handle of the spatula with colored threads as you like. Then draw a face on the hump part of the spatula with a pencil. Make hair with wool thread in any color. Your hand puppet is ready. Good. We wish you a lot of fun.

Is the puppetry for kids or adults?

Puppetry is a fun and educational game for both children and adults. Just as children enjoy puppetry, adults can use puppets in theatrical performances, educational presentations, and even television shows.

What materials are dolls made of?

Many different materials can be used to make dolls. Fabric, cotton, wool, leather, paper, wood and even plastic materials can be used. Material selection can be made according to the purpose and size of the doll.

Why is a voice-over given during a puppet show?

During the puppetry, voice acting is done to make the character of the puppet more realistic. Voice acting allows the doll to speak and express different emotions.

Are puppet shows used just for fun?

No, puppet shows aren’t just for fun. Puppet games can be used for different purposes. For example, educational puppet games can make children more aware of health and safety issues while improving their language and social skills. In addition, puppet shows can be used to introduce different cultures, tell history, and address social issues.

What techniques can be used while playing the puppetry?

Many different techniques can be used while playing the puppet show. For example, you can practice acting out the story using the doll’s movements and facial expressions. You can also make the doll talk by making different sounds.

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