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Inside the Drama-House: Rama Stories and Shadow Puppets in South India
Stuart Blackburn takes the reader inside a little-known form of shadow puppetry in this captivating work about performing the Tamil version of the Ramayana epic. Blackburn describes the skill and physical stamina of the puppeteers in Kerala state in South India as they perform all night for as many as ten weeks during the festival season. The fact that these performances o ...more
Paperback, 310 pages
Published May 28th 1996 by University of California Press
(first published April 28th 1996)
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The use of shadow puppets is well-known in Southeast Asia; in this book, Stuart Blackburn takes up a possibly unique use of them in Kerala, southwest India. It is not unique in subject matter--what he studied was a South Indian version of the Rama story, presented over several days. But what Blackburn finds is an art form without an audience, at least a human, physical one. The puppeteers act out the very long story, with its many incidents, debates and battles, before almost no one. They must h ...more