Puppetry has been a source of comfort for many people.
Having its roots lie in the darker side of humanity’s imagination, puppetry is a grand and magical source of entertainment. Striking the hearts of many with the simple and easy to relate to figures depicting a story-line of immense complexity. Like a folk tale, questioning our every state.
If you believe that you have never been influenced by some form of puppetry, you are sadly mistaken.
A theatre performance involving the manipulation of a puppet or inanimate object often resembling a person or animal. Allowing to tell a story in a truly inventive manner. Giving rise to voice artist and a home for ventriloquism. In the most recent years leaving us with incredible moments experienced in Jurassic Park, Gremlins, Aliens and so many more. Each having an influence on how we experience the world, our aspirations and even our ideologies.
Can you honestly say that after watching The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth or The Muppets that you were not simply blown away by the artistry your eyes would now behold forever?
In Western history people with the ability to perform the act of ventriloquism were sort of seen as bearing a demon within the stomach. The demon being the second voice, though I find in my reading that might have been perceived as seemingly harmless as it was still used for entertainment.
I guess it just wasn’t contagious so who cares right?
They were also thought to speak with the dead in some locations, having the voice of the dead emerge from the belly. Interpreting the sounds as voices of the dead or foretelling the future of querent. Keeping to general understanding that with this talent you are now a channel for my family that have passed on or a bit fun and games. In the article ‘The Demonic Origins of Ventriloquism’ shows the early use of a ‘dummy’ was also not the most glamourous of origins:
In 150 A.D., a man called Alexander of Abonoteichus captivated contemporaries when he discovered a talking serpent with a human head. Not so captivated was the skeptical writer Lucian, who declared that the head was made from linen, mounted on a snake’s body, and made to speak through a tube operated by a concealed assistant. While not ventriloquism, it was an early use of a “dummy” to focus the audience’s attention on a miraculous voice. (Thankfully, animal carcasses have been phased out of modern interpretations.)
Though like many talents seen as ‘just too weird’ were eventually taken to be the devil’s work. Thus of course these possessed ‘belly speakers’ were demonized which I assume lead to many unfortunate deaths.
In much gratitude it did not remain in the ‘demonic’ category of things and now serves as a place of comfort and entertainment. Places like my home country, South Africa, puppetry overall has had a huge influence on many generations of kids and continues to do so. We have not always had access to entertainment from other countries due our sketchy past.
Puppetry became a place of self expression.
Turning to Eastern culture we see the presence of puppetry going far back into the history. Puppet theatre has been lead to show a great deal stories. Expressing current situation, impressing the high social class, telling folklore and inspiring talent.
Taking on many forms the puppetry theatre enchanted a great deal of people through story, song, dance and even to the talented puppeteer stunts. Performed to depict plays and incorporated with musical instruments the puppetry of Asia has never failed to amaze.
Allow yourself to be pleasantly taken away by the magic and beauty that puppeteers have brought to the world. It might just give you a reason to embrace your talents from the seemingly mundane to seemingly weird. Perhaps even become a puppeteer yourself.
So be inspired by Darci Lynne