There are several forms of research into puppetry: for example, the point of view of theatre historians and scholars is different from that of anthropologists and ethnographers. At first, most of the information came from amateurs, memoir writers or travellers, occasional spectators of puppet shows. Another source of information on the practice of puppetry at different periods of history could be found in the works of moralists and poets who used puppet and shadow theatre themes as metaphor of man’s submission to fate, or to the gods who manipulated mortals. As early as the 2nd century BCE, the Natyasastra, an Indian treatise on theatre, gave a particular place to puppetry and it is notable that Indian scholars have often manifested their interest in this art. The Middle Ages and Renaissance periods reveal certain accounts, as in the Hortus Deliciarium by the 12th century prioress Herrad von Landsberg, and those by dramatic and satirical authors mentioned by Francesco Saverio Quadrio (Della storia e della ragione d’ogni poesia On the History and Reason of All Poetry, Volume V, 1744). At the beginning of the 18th century, with the birth of journalism, literary criticism of puppet shows appeared, notably in the British periodical The Spectator. In the 19th century, folklorists and ethnographers started to collect documents which gave descriptions of the shows and published their dialogues, giving regular attention to the characters of Don Juan, Faust (in Germany), Punch and Judy (in Great Britain), and to the Christian Nativity theme expressed in Poland’s szopka and Ukraine’s vertep.


In 1852, the first history of puppetry was written and published by Charles Magnin in Paris, Histoire des Marionnettes en Europe depuis l’Antiquité jusqu’à nos Jours (The History of Puppets in Europe from Antiquity to Our Time, with a revised edition in 1862 and a reissue in 1982), offering a new scholarly approach to this field. After having collected a great quantity of facts, Magnin gave them a coherent interpretation. He established certain parallels between the history of puppet theatre and the history of the drama, and distinguished three phases: hieratic (religious), aristocratic, and popular, organizing the evidence into chapters, each focused on one or several countries. In 1856, a study by Johann Georg Theodor Grässe was published, Zur Geschichte des Puppenspiels und der Automaten (On the History of Puppetry and Automata) which was part of a more comprehensive work, Die Wissenschaften im neunzehnten Jahrhundert, ihr Standpunkt und die Resultate ihrer Forschungen (The Sciences in the Nineteenth Century, Their Present State and the Results of Their Research). Like Magnin, the inclusion of puppetry in this work was a first step in the historical research of the subject in Europe. Grässe’s work attested to the cultural value of puppetry and its attraction as a subject for scholarly research.

This situation, though, presented a paradox: previous research not having had puppetry as its object, the first histories lacked any scientific basis. Even though Magnin had been particularly attentive to literary sources, one cannot say the same of his successors who, nevertheless, had been inspired by his pioneering work to continue the discoveries of this recently recognized phenomenon. From the end of the 19th century several puppet practitioners and some of their educated friends wrote manifestos and treatises, becoming advocates of puppetry, such as George Sand and her son Maurice Sand. In France, first hand accounts became more numerous thanks to professional critics such as Anatole France and Jules Lemaître, who attended “artistic puppetry” performances. During Modernism, the idea of the puppet as the “ideal actor” interested many authors, notably Edward Gordon Craig, who included puppetry in much of his work including his periodicals The Mask and The Marionette.

Some scholars took the puppet as a subject for scientific dissertation. Richard Pischel presented Die Heimat von Puppenspiels (The Home of the Puppet Play) in his 1900 inaugural lecture at the University of Halle. In it, he established that on the grounds of linguistic analysis India was the birthplace of animated figures. This thesis stimulated European and other scholars to delve deeper into the location of the puppet’s origins, as did, for example, Sun Kaidi in his 1952 study Des Origines du Théâtre des Marionnettes (On the Origins of the Puppet Theatre see [lier]Origins of the Puppet[/lier]). Others focused on more defined subjects, such as Tancrède de Visan who wrote about the Guignol Lyonnais, Johannes Rabe who wrote about the Kasperl of Hamburg, and Carl Niessen with his work on the puppet theatre in the region of Cologne (Das rheinische Puppenspiel. Ein theatergeschichtlicher Beitrag zur Volkskunde Puppetry of the Rhineland. Its Dramatic and Historical Contribution to Popular Culture, 1928). The tendency to study a specific country or particular region had already been seen, notably in the work of Vladimir Perets who wrote on Russian puppetry (Kukolniy teatr na Rusi [lier]Russian Puppet Theatre, 1896). Like Niessen, Perets was an author with high scientific standards, but it is to Philipp Leibrecht that we owe a revitalizing of historical research, with his 1919 work Zeugnisse und Nachweise zur Geschichte des Puppenspiels in Deutschland (Documents and Evidence of the History of Puppetry in Germany). Leibrecht collected all sorts of facts not only from literature and the press but also from court records, municipal council minutes and police reports. This innovative archival work was continued by Hans Richard Purschke and by many other authors to this day. More recent work of this kind was done in 1994 by Boris Goldovski (Letopis Teatra Kukol v Rossii XV-XVIII vekov 15th to 18th Century Russian Puppet Theatre Chronicles), and by Anatoli Koulich (Letopis teatra kukol v Rossii XIX veka (1800-1874, 19th Century Russian Puppet Theatre Chronicles), when the previously closed archives were opened after the end of the Communist regime (see Russia).

Since the 19th century, other scholars have also concentrated on specialized puppet theatre genres, recurring characters of the puppet stage or a particular puppetry company. Thus, the Sicilian pupi, Poland’s szopka and Ukraine’s vertep, and the Italian company Teatro Gioco Vita have been thoroughly studied (see Italy).

A second group of researchers focused on popular heroes such as Polichinelle, Petrushka, Punch and Judy, and Guignol, with several specialists proposing a single work about these national personalities including their kinship with non-European characters. Another approach has been the study of archetypal figures such as Faust and Don Juan in Europe, or certain characters in Asian mythology, as seen in the works by Jiwan Pani on the Indian Hanuman, and by Jo Humphrey on the Chinese Monkey King.

The third area of study (case studies of theatres, institutions and artists) has provided another rich source of documentation for the historian. Several distinguished institutions are found in this field, such as the Puppet Theatre Museum in the Munich City Museum (Puppentheatermuseum im Münchner Stadtmuseum) – with its section dedicated to puppets and its publication of booklets containing valuable information on leading puppeteers – and the Institute of Puppet Theatre in Bochum, which publishes the Meister des Puppenspiels (Puppet Master) series. Similar specialized monographs have also been published by the Sergei Obraztsov State Academic Central Puppet Theatre in Moscow, the Ţăndărică Theatre in Bucharest, Romania, and the Toone Theatre in Brussels, Belgium. The International Institute of Puppetry (Institut International de la Marionnette) in Charleville-Mézières, France has a strong publishing arm, adding important research works to the available literature.

All of this documentation, together with more general, less specialized, works, has been of great help to historians in the interpretation of the collected material. Some scholars have taken their research entirely from the roots of their subject, like George Speaight with his History of the English Puppet Theatre (1955 and 1990) and John Earl Varey with Historia de los Titeres en España (History of Puppets in Spain, 1957; see Spain). Many other similar works have been published in Bulgaria, the former Czechoslovakia (present-day Czech Republic), Hungary, Switzerland and Russia. It should be noted that some countries like Germany and Italy, which in spite of a wealth of literature (monographs on theatres, companies, regional practices), have not produced their own national history – with the exception of Puppen und Puppenspiele (Dolls and Puppets, 1929) by Max von Boehn, an important work because it considers all inanimate simulacra, differentiating them from the puppet and its theatrical function, and The Italian Puppet Theatre (2010) by John McCormick, an Irish historian.

Some authors have encompassed a number of continents in their historical studies, as did Jacques Chesnais in Histoire générale des marionnettes (General History of Puppets, 1947), but at the price of several omissions, since only a limited part of the existing documentation (mostly the French and English sources) was taken into account. In 1959, a smaller work, Histoire des marionnettes (History of Puppets), by Gaston Baty and René Chavance focused on the European region. The two authors presented the origins of puppets, which they saw in the ritual figures of ancient Egypt. They paid equal attention to the popular and comic forms as to the expressions considered “artistic”. The work of Henryk Jurkowski contributed to a new impulse in the study of puppetry in Europe. Jurkowski’s A History of European Puppetry (three volumes published in Poland between 1970 and 1984, with a revised version in English in two volumes in 1996 and 1998), gathered a large quantity of historical information, attempting to tie these elements to the cultural history of the different countries. Part of this subject was renewed in 1998 by John McCormick and Bennie Pratasik with their Popular Puppet Theatre in Europe, 1800-1914. In the last fifteen years, there has been growing interest from university scholars. In Italy, since 2001, the Istituto per i Beni Marionettistici e il Teatro Popolare (Institute for the Benefit of the Puppet and the Popular Theatre), created in Turin by Alfonso Cipolla and Giovanni Moretti, is dedicated to the safeguarding of the heritage through research and publishing. Among the Institute’s publications are: A. Cipolla and G. Moretti, Gianduja, una Riscoperta in Corso (Gianduja, an Ongoing Rediscovery, 2003), Commedianti Figurati (Puppet Actors, 2003), a collection of reports on Italian puppet theatre written by travellers, and Genoveffa di Brabante. Dalla tradizione popolare a Erik Satie (Genevieve of Brabant. From Folk Tradition to Erik Satie, 2004). Also to be noted is the Associazione Peppino Sarina, which, since 1995, has awarded an annual prize for a thesis on puppetry (Premio Dottor Burattino).

Since 2004, the University of Évora (Universidade de Évora, in Portugal) has been developing a research project on the tradition of the Bonecos de Santo Aleixo, in collaboration with the Centre Dramàtico de Évora.

The Americas

Historical research in America began with a broad synthesis – encompassing North America and South America (see Latin America) – by puppeteer Paul McPharlin (The Puppet Theatre in America. A History. 1524-1948, 1949). Marjorie Batchelder (who became his wife) went on to complete the work for publication in 1949, and in 1969 it was republished with a supplement by the said Marjorie Batchelder McPharlin, covering 1948-1968. Paul McPharlin’s work is almost an exception in the United States of America where many publications focus on the technical aspects of puppetry (methods of manufacturing most notably). Among the rare historical studies is one by Marjorie McPharlin: Rod Puppets and the Human Theatre (1947). This work follows a specifically American chronology, from pre-Columbian times to the importing of European and Asian genres practised by immigrant puppeteers or visiting travelling troupes. The work also studies the renewal of the art in the United States influenced by Europeans (thanks especially to Edward Gordon Craig) but also, starting from the 1920s, through the affirmation of typically American forms and specific cultural traits.

A major contribution to historical research was contributed by Dr John Bell with two books: String, Hands, Shadows: A Modern Puppet History (2000) which documents the McPharlin Puppet Collection at the Detroit Institute of Arts, and American Puppet Modernism (2008), an educational, historical and theoretical study. John Bell is the director of the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry (BIMP) at the University of Connecticut, which has a Puppet Arts Program. Puppetry: A World History (2005) by Eileen Blumenthal offers a general view of the situation of international puppetry at the beginning of the 20th century. Pinocchio’s Progeny (1995) by Harold B. Segel is also an important theoretical text which concentrates on the plays written for puppets in the Modernist era. American Puppetry: Collections, History, Performance (2004) edited by Phyllis Dirks is a study aid for students trying to locate puppet collections in museums and libraries. Professional researchers have written biographies about Tony Sarg, Sue Hastings and Paul McPharlin. Through their works, American students have contributed to the knowledge of traditional forms of puppetry throughout the world. Among these are Mel Helstein, James Brandon and Kathy Foley on Asia, and Mary Jo Arnoldi on Africa. Excellent volumes have documented the works of individual artists like Jim Henson and Julie Taymor, including the rich and detailed study of Peter Schumann and The Bread and Puppet Theatre (in two volumes) by Stefan Brecht.

In Canada, Micheline Legendre’s Marionnettes, art et tradition (Puppetry, Art and Tradition, 1986), retraces the history of puppets in Quebec; and in 1994, the Canadian Museum of Civilization has acquired and is documenting the imposing Ontario Puppetry Association Collection.

Research in Latin America has been carried out at the Museo Nacional del Títere – Huamantla (Tlaxcala), Mexico; and in Brazil research work is under the direction of Valmor Beltrame from Santa Catarina State University (publishing the Móin-Móin periodical since 2005), and extensive research has been carried out on the mamulengo by Magda Modesto, Humberto Braga, Izabela Brochado and Fernando Augusto Gonçalves dos Santos. Ana María Amaral has written books on theory and masks, and Susanita Freire has produced work on the history of puppetry. In Argentina, Pablo Medina wrote on the life and work of the gifted glove puppeteer Javier Villafañe.

Other histories have been produced: in Peru by Felipe Rivas Mendo and Vicky de Aramayo; in Uruguay by Miguel Cherro, Blanca Loureiro and Tato Martinez; in Cuba by Freddy Artiles; in Chile by Enrique and Hugo Cerda and Ana María Allendes Ossa (her principal focus was on the pre-Columbian era).

In Mexico, Alejandro Jara and Alberto Mejía Barón have interested themselves in the complete works of the master, Roberto Lago. Starting from the year 2000, César Tavera and Elvia Mante have published several historical articles in the magazine Teokikixtli. During the Titerias Festival, Lourdes Pérez Gay and Lucio Espindola have penned studies on different aspects of the history of puppetry, and the Conaculta (Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, the National Council for Culture and the Arts) produced a 2006 compact disk on puppetry and indigenous cultures.


The first overall work about African puppetry arts in a European language was written by Olenka Darkowska-Nidzgorski, Théâtre populaire de marionnettes en Afrique noire (Popular Puppet Theatre in Sub-Saharan Africa, 1976), in which the material is organized by functions (ritual, magic, entertainment) according to their historical evolution and their geographical location. In a following work co-authored by Denis Nidzgorski, Le Chant de l’oiseau. Théâtre de marionnettes. Racines africaines (The Song of the Bird. Puppet Theatre. African Roots, 1998), a subtle interpretation of the different types of puppets and ritual sculptures as cultural phenomena is offered. Another important work is Emotions in Motion: Theatrical Puppets and Masks from Black Africa (1990) by Esther A. Dagan.

Regional studies by country include Denis Nidzgorski’s Arts du spectacle africain. Contributions du Gabon (African Performing Arts. Contributions from Gabon, 1980), with a focus on Gabon, whilst Mary Jo Arnoldi’s Playing with Time: Art and Performance in Central Mali (1995) focuses on performance arts of Mali. Astrid Schwenke is the author of a South Africa study with Die Geskiedenis van die Poppeteater in Suid-Afrika. 1800-1984 ‘N evalueering en oorsig oor ‘n ontwikkelende inheemse tradisie (The History of Puppetry in South Africa. 1800-1984. Evaluation and Overview of a Tradition in Evolution, 1984). Ibrahim Hamada’s Khayal Al-Zill Wa Tamthiliat Ibn Danial (The Shadow Theatre and Plays of Ibn Daniel, 1963) is a study of the shadow theatre of Egypt with a focus on Ibn Daniel, 13th-14th-century author of the oldest shadow plays in Arabic. These few publications serve as a sample of the scholarly works on African puppetry. (See Bibliography: Africa for a more comprehensive list of publications.)


In spite of the existence of many objects and information about puppetry in China, India and Japan, it is only from the 20th century that one can find general studies on puppetry arts in the whole of Asia.

Among the first Chinese texts were the Song Yuan Xiqusi (History of Theatre during the Song and Yuan Dynasties) by Wang Kuwei (1924) and the Dongjing Menghualu (Souvenirs of the Eastern Capital) by Meng Yuan-lao, in which are descriptions of string, rod and water puppets, performances by live actors and puppets as well as portraits of famous puppeteers. But the first attempt at a wider view is without doubt that of the Japanese Ozawa Yoshikuni whose work, Daitoua Kyoei-kenno Ningyōugeki (Puppet Theatre in the Sphere of Co-Prosperity in Great Eastern Asia, Tokyo, 1943), shows the author’s desire to understand the cultures of societies then under Japanese domination. Excluding the Korean shadow theatre, the wayang kulit from Java, Indonesia, and the shadow theatre from Thailand, the book also presents Indian string puppets, the Turkish karagöz, as well as the pahlavan kachal of Iran. However, this work remains a collection of articles and is not based on field research.

Otto Spies’ first general essay, Türkisches Puppentheater. Versuch einer Geschichte des Puppentheaters im Morgenland (Turkish Puppet Theatre. An Historical Essay on Puppet Theatre in the Orient, 1959) describes ancient usages of puppetry among Persians, Arabs and Central-Asian Turks, in relation to India, Indonesia, China, Japan, Korea and Mongolia, and discusses certain linguistic aspects of puppet terminology. However, information on concrete theatrical practices is confined to the essential.

A far richer view was presented by Jayadeva Tilakasiri in The Puppet Theatre in Asia (1968), although its focus was limited to India, South East Asia and Japan. The author discussed the origins of puppets and shadow theatre in relation to live theatre and the influence of the great Indian epics, the Ramayana and Mahabharata, on the entire region (excluding Japan).

Jan Malík can be credited with an exceptionally ambitious work: Kapitoly z dějin loutkářských kultur (Chapters from the History of Puppet Cultures, 1983), with the intention of covering, in twenty chapters, all of puppetry in Asia. The methodology consisted in studying puppetry in topological order within their geographical and cultural contexts; however, the work was never finished and is limited to India and South East Asia.

The most complete and best documented work is by Inna Solomonik: Traditsionniy teatr koukol vostoka (Traditional Oriental Puppet Theatre, 1992) in which the author refers only to three-dimensional puppets, presenting them according to their manipulation technique (glove, rod, string, and other particular types) used notably in India, Iran, China, Thailand, Indonesia, and Burma (Myanmar). Among the “particular types”, the author describes Tibetan butter puppets, the memorial puppets of Iran, the ningyō-jōruri of Japan (see Bunraku) and the water puppets of Vietnam. Although mutual influences between Eastern and Western puppetry are examined, the work remains a summary of contemporary practices in Asia.

More recently, Jiryō Miyao tried to renew the subject with Ajiano ningyōugeki (Asian Puppet Theatre, 1984) which is dedicated to South East Asia and supported by ample documentation. The work discusses glove and string puppets of Taiwan, quanzhou string puppets of Hong Kong, nang yai and nang talung from Thailand, nang sbek from Cambodia, wayang kulit purwa of Indonesia, water puppets from Vietnam, wayang siam from Malaysia and string and shadow puppets from India. All of these different genres are studied in terms of their history, theatrical organization, manipulation techniques as well as from an economic and literary point of view. Jiryō Miyao also published Ajia ningyō hakubutsukan (The Museum of Asian Puppetry, 1994) which describes the introduction of puppets in Asian countries and the relation between man and puppets in the social life of Asia, depicted with many illustrations and photographs, thus achieving, in his own way, his dream of creating an Asian puppet museum.

Shadow Theatre

Many researchers have turned their attention to shadow theatre, unsurprisingly, since it is a very popular genre in Asia. The first specialist who undertook an intercultural history of shadow theatre was the German Georg Jacob with his Geschichte des Schattenspiels im Morgenund Abendland (History of Shadow Theatre in the East and West, 1925). Other works on this subject worth mentioning include Das Chinesiche Schattentheater (Chinese Shadow Theatre, Bonn, 1933) by Jacob and Jensen; Chinese Shadow Shows (1938) by Genevieve Wimsatt; Chinese Shadow-Figure Plays and Their Making (1938) by Benjamin March; and Sergei Obraztsov’s The Chinese Theatre (1961). Several Chinese authors, notably Guan Junzhi and Jiang Yuxiang, have focused on the same subject, as well as some European researchers like Friedrich Seltmann, author of a series of case studies on shadow theatre as practised in the Indian States of Mysore, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Orissa.


In China, it seems that puppet theatre was already in existence during the Han Dynasty (206 BCE to 8 CE). The Song Yuan Xiqusi (History of Theatre under the Song and Yuan Dynasties, 1924) contains interesting documents about puppetry between the 10th and 15th centuries. Among other first works are: Zhongguo kueileiji kao (A Study on Chinese Puppet Theatre, 1934) by Tong Jing-xin, Chugoku ningyosi kenkyu oboegaki (Notes on the History of Chinese Puppetry) by Japan’s Nakayama Hachiro – who notably revealed the role played by this art at court – as well as the text which served as its basis, Kue-leixi kaoyuen (Puppet Theatre Study, Shanghai, 1944) by Sun Jiedi. Lastly, a work by Jacques Pimpaneau presents a complete panorama of Chinese puppet and shadow theatre, and also explores the ritual, cultural and social functions of this art: Des poupées à l’ombre. Le Théâtre d’ombres et de poupées en Chine (Shadow Puppets. Shadow and Puppet Theatre in China, 1977).

Japan and neighbouring countries

Research in Japan has been focused on ningyō-jōruri (generally known under the misnomer Bunraku). It has been the object of many different points of view in terms of research. Aside from Miyake Shutaro’s historical work Bunraku no kenkyu (A Study of Bunraku, 1930), there are dramaturgy and case studies (Bungoro Geidan, 1943, about the puppeteer Yoshida Bungorō). But perhaps the most important work about Japanese puppet theatre is by Tsunoda Ichiro, Ningyōugeki no seiritsu nikansuru kemkuyu (Study on the Birth and Development of Puppet Theatre, 1963) which refers particularly to the study of the term kailai (signifying “puppet” in Chinese texts) and examines the multiple aspects of ningyō-jōruri in more than one thousand pages. Other works include Donald Keene’s Bunraku, the Art of the Japanese Puppet Theatre (1965) and Nihon geinoushi no kenkyu (Historical Study of Arts of Entertainment in Japan, 1968) by Hama Kazue, a specialist in Chinese literature who examined Chinese theatre in terms of its historical relation with Japanese theatre. Moreover, Taiji Kawajiri brings the personal experience of a modern puppeteer and a comparative study of Japanese puppetry to his Ningyōugeki Noto (Notes on Puppetry, 1968). Writings on contemporary puppetry as influenced by European theatre are rare. Another important work to be mentioned is Jacques Pimpaneau’s Fantômes manipulés. Le Théâtre de Poupées au Japon (Manipulated Ghosts. Puppet Theatre in Japan, 1978), which is comparable to his book on China.

During the first half of the 19th century when Japan’s influence extended over almost all of Eastern Asia, Japanese researchers – wanting to understand the conquered countries the better to control them – assembled many documents revealing not very well known customs and cultures. Certain works were thus published in Japanese: Chosen ningyōsibai (Korean Puppet Plays, 1929) by Song Suck-ha, Chosen ningyōgeki (Korean Puppet Theatre, 1931), Shina no kagee (Shadow Theatre in China, 1939) by Nakamura Heihachiro. Miyao Shigeo’s Sina kagee (Chinese Shadow Theatre, 1939) examines ritual and literary aspects as well as the social functions of puppets, the question of the public, archaeological discoveries and documentary findings. Another more recent work on Korean theatre is Korean Puppet Theatre: Kkoktu Kaksi (1979) by Oh Kon Cho.

India and neighbouring countries

Given the country’s ancient and rich traditions, among the relatively few publications about the Indian puppet theatre by Indian scholars there is the early work by Meher Contractor who, in Various Types of Traditional Puppets of India (1968), assembled important documents about the different traditions of rod, glove and string puppetry as well as shadow theatre. Kapila Vatsayan’s work, The Ancient and Popular Tradition of Indian Puppetry (1980), is important but does not venture further than generalities. The same criticism could be made of Jiwan Pani’s Living Dolls: Story of Indian Puppets (1986), even though it achieves a good synthesis about the subject. Publications that treat specific regional forms of Indian puppetry, however, tend to be more focused, such as M. Nagabhushana Sarma’s Tolu Bommalata. The Shadow Puppet Theatre of Andhra Pradesh (1985), S.A. Krishnaiah’s Karnataka Puppetry (1988), and G. Venu’s Tolpava Koothu: Puppets of Kerala (1990). (See India, Tolu Bommalata, Tolpava Koothu.) More recent Indian publications include M.S. Nanjunda Rao’s beautifully illustrated overview, Leather Puppetry in Karnataka (2000), and Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy’s in-depth research, Kathputli. The World of Rajasthani Puppeteers (2007). (See Kathputli ka Khel.) Sampa Ghosh and Utpal K. Banerjee have published several general studies of Indian puppetry in recent decades: Indian Puppets (2006), Indian Puppetry and Puppet Stories (2007), and Puppets of India and the World (2013). Other Indian scholars have studied and written on specific puppetry styles or regional forms since the 1980s; their works are in various Indian languages, including English. The Sangeet Natak Akademi (SNA, National Academy of the Performing Arts), both at the national and state levels, have documented Indian puppetry over the past 60-plus years, and have published articles on the subject in the Sangeet Natak Akademi Journal (a bi-annual publication on music, dance and drama published since 1965); SNA also has extensive holdings of taped puppet performances. The 2003 Putul Yatra festival held in New Delhi to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Sangeet Natak Akademi was an occasion to prepare a major exhibition on Indian puppetry, for which texts were prepared that offered an overview of each traditional puppetry form as well as the modern Indian puppet theatre were prepared.

Certain foreign researchers have taken up the subject of historical development of Indian puppetry. One such is Miyao Jiryo who, in 1975, examined the shadow tradition in Southern India in Minami Indo no kagee sibai, Kerala-shu no Ramayana geki (Shadow Theatre in Southern India and Ramayana Theatre in Kerala). Publications by Western writers on Indian puppetry include Stuart Blackburn’s Inside the Drama-House: Rama Stories and Shadow Puppets in South India (1996), as well as a number of academic studies and theses, including Jonathan Goldbergelle’s “The Performance Poetics of Tolubommalata: A South Asian Shadow Puppet Tradition” (dissertation, 1984). There are more such studies, both by Indian and international scholars.

Regarding other nearby countries influenced by Indian civilization, three works stand out: Puppetry in Ceylon (1961) by Jayadeva Tilakasiri (see Sri Lanka); Carl Hagemann’s Birmesische Marionetten (Burmese Puppetry, 1921), which focuses on the relations between mythology in Myanmar and the tradition of string puppets; and, a more recent study, Burmese Puppets (1992) by Noel Singer.

Thailand presents the still living tradition of shadow theatre (the nang yai and the nang talung) and rod puppetry (hun krabok and hun lakon). The nang yai is unique in its genre. This type of giant puppet, the size of a human, has been studied by René Nicolas in 1929 in his Le Théâtre d’ombres du Siam (Shadow Theatre in Siam). And, in 1954, Prince Dhaninivat himself published a small book on what he considered to be an important part of the Thai cultural heritage, a tradition also studied by other researchers such as F.W. Mullet and Michael Smithies in “The Giant Shadow Play of Thailand” (1973). This genre of theatre, which was brought from Cambodia after the Thais settled in Angkor during the 15th century, is still presented today at Wat Kanon, in the region of Rajburi.

In Cambodia, the nang sbek is equally distinct in its style and in the fact that it only stages performances of stories from the Ramayana. Two authors have examined this tradition: Mubin Sheppard with “The Khmer Shadow Play and Its Links with Ancient India” (1968) and the works of Jacques Brunet which include Nang Sbek: théâtre d’ombres dansé du Cambodge (Nang Sbek: Danced Shadow Theatre of Cambodia, 1969).

In Malaysia, Jeanne Cuisinier focused on wayang siam practised at the court in the State of Kelantan in Le Théâtre d’ombres à Kelantan (Shadow Theatre in Kelantan, 1957), whereas J. Scott-Kemball is the author of a comparative study of characters represented in this tradition in “The Kelantan Wayang Siam Shadow Puppets ‘Rama’ and ‘Hanuman’, A Comparative Study of Their Structure” (1959). Amin Sweeney wrote about the oral transmission of Ramayana puppeteers and storytellers in The Ramayana and the Malay Shadow Play (1972), and Dato Haji Mubin Sheppard wrote about the role of clowns in shadow theatre in “Pa’dogol and Wa’long: The Evolution of the Comedians in the Malay Shadow Play in Kelantan” (1965).


Indonesian wayang still remains the most examined subject with an abundant literature started in 1913 by Buenlinge van Helsdingen in “The Javanese Theatre: Wayang Purwa and Wayang Gedog” (1913). This work was continued by W.H. Rassers in On the Origins of the Javanese Theatre in Panji, the Culture Hero: A Structural Study of Religion in Java (1959), followed by research from numerous Dutch, American and Indonesian scholars. There is Mankunegara VII’s On the Wayang Kulit (Purwa) and Its Symbolic and Mystical Elements (1957) and Moebirman’s Wayang purwa. Introduction, Origins, Performance (1961). Roger Long was also interested in this subject: Javanese Shadow Theater: Movement and Characterization in Ngyayokarta Wayang Kulit (1982), as was Victoria Clara Van Groenendael in The Dalang Behind the Wayang (1985), among others.

Javanese shadow theatre studies include the following: James R. Brandon’s On Thrones of Gold. Three Javanese Shadow Plays (1970); Mary Zurbuchen’s The Language of Javanese Shadow Theatre (1987); Ward Keeler’s Javanese Shadow Plays, Javanese Selves (1987). Günter Spitzing undertook a comparative study of Indonesian shadow theatre in Bali, Java and Lombok in Das Indonesische Schattenspiel: Bali, Jawa, Lombok (1981). Whereas I Nyoman Sumandhi focused on Java and Bali in “Le théâtre d’ombres balinais et javanais” (The Balinese and Javanese Shadow Theatre), plus his study focusing on Bali, “Diverses phases de la construction des marionnettes d’ombres balinaises” (Various Stages in the Construction of Balinese Shadow Puppets), both articles appearing in a Paris publication in 1979. Balinese wayang was also the field of Christiaan Hooykaas’ Kama and Kala: Materials for the Study of Shadow Theatre in Bali (1973), and the various studies of I Nyoman Sedana, among others.

C.P. Epskamp examined the character of Semar in Semar as Trickster: Wayang as a Multi-classificatory Representation of Javanese Society (1976), as did Kathy Foley in “Semar in Sunda. The Southeast Asian God-Clown in His Sundanese Embodiment” (in RIMA, 1999). Foley also studied the role of Sundanese clown characters in “The Clown in the Sundanese Wayang Golek: Democratization of a Feudal Ethos” (in Scenarium, 1985) and “The Clown Figure in the Puppet Theatre of West Java: The Individual and the Ancestor” (in Humor and Comedy in Puppetry, 1987). Foley’s research on Sundanese wayang golek also includes her doctoral thesis, “The Sundanese Wayang Golek, Rod Puppet Theatre of West Java” (1979). Other studies of wayang golek include Gildas-Louis Coudrin and Yolande Motreff’s Wayang golek. Tradition vivante (Wayang Golek. Living Tradition, 1986) and Andrew Weintraub’s Power Plays: Wayang Golek Puppet Theater of West Java (2004). There is also Michèle Gisselbrecht’s Les Ombres et les marionnettes de Java. Wayang kulit et wayang golek (The Shadows and Puppets of Java. Wayang Kulit and Wayang Golek, 1985).

A more general study of Indonesian theatre is to be found in Kathy Foley’s chapter, “Indonesia” (in The Cambridge Guide to Asian Theatre, 1997). In addition, there are Indonesian studies in Indonesian languages as well as academic studies in Indonesia and abroad. Those researchers that do field work today are still discovering new forms and unknown aspects of this art which, apparently, has remained perennial.

A World History of Puppetry

Up to now, no entire world history of puppetry has been published. This is understandable as all attempts at writing such a history of literature or theatre has only brought about collections of chapters dealing with a particular field or given era. The same is true of puppetry.

The publication in September 2009 of the Encyclopédie Mondiale des Arts de la Marionnette sheds new light on our subject and paves the way to a global re-examination within the field of historical research. This Union Internationale de la Marionnette (UNIMA) publication has since been updated and translated into English and Spanish, respectively titled World Encyclopedia of Pupptry Arts and Enciclopedia Mundial del Arte de la Marioneta. Since it is published online, this trilingual encyclopedia has the advantage of being more easily corrected and updated.

(See also bibliographical references at the end of individual articles, in particular the national articles.)


  • Baty, Gaston, and René Chavance. Histoire des Marionnettes [History of Puppets]. “Que sais-je?” series. Paris: PUF, 1959; 2nd ed. 1972.
  • Boehn, Max von. Puppen und Puppenspiele [Dolls and Puppets]. München: F.  Bruckmann, 1929. Dolls and Puppets. Trans. Josephine Nicoll. Boston: Charles T. Branford, 1932.
  • Chesnais, Jacques. Histoire générale des marionnettes [General History of Puppets]. Paris: Bordas, 1947.
  • Cipolla, Alfonso. Il Teatro di Figura in Piemonte [The Puppet Theatre in Piedmont].  Torino: Istituto per i Beni Marionettistici e il Teatro Popolare/Attivita’ Editoriale, 2009.
  • Cipolla, Alfonso, and Giovanni Moretti. Commedianti Figurati [Puppet Actors]. Torino:  Istituto per i Beni Marionettistici e il Teatro Popolare/Attivita’ Editoriale, 2003.
  • Cipolla, Alfonso, and Giovanni Moretti. Gianduja, una Riscoperta in Corso [Gianduja,  an Ongoing Rediscovery]. Torino: Istituto per i Beni Marionettistici e il Teatro  Popolare/Attivita’ Editoriale, 2003.
  • Craig, Edward Gordon. On the Art of the Theatre. London: Methuen, 1911.
  • Craig, Edward Gordon, ed. The Marionette. Vol. I, Nos. 1-12. Florence, 1918-1919.
  • Craig, Edward Gordon, ed. The Mask. Vols. I-XV. Florence, 1908-1915, 1918, 1923-1929.
  • Craig, Edward Gordon. “The Über-Marionette”. On the Art of the Theatre. Nos. 81-85. London: Heinemann, 1911.
  • Fedas, I. E. Ukrainskiy narodniy vertep (v issledovaniyakh 19-20 vekov) [The Ukrainian Folk Vertep (Research of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries)]. Kiev, 1987.
  • Franko, I. “Do istorii Ukrainskogo vertepu 18 veku” [History of the Eighteenth Century Ukrainian Vertep]. Zapiski Naukovogo Tovaristva [Proceedings of the Scientific Association]. Vols. 71-72, 1906.
  • Genoveffa di Brabante. Dalla tradizione popolare e Erik Satie [Genevieve of Brabant. From Folk Tradition to Erik Satie]. Proceedings of the conference, “G. Cantelli” of Novara February 15, 2003. Papers by Ettore Borri, Diego Bragonzi Bignami, Bruno  Cagnoli, Vincenzo Cerutti, Alfonso Cipolla, Enrico Maria Ferrando, Pier Giuseppe Gillio, Ausilia Magaudda, John McCormick, Eugenio Monti Colla, Mimmo Cuticchio, Giovanni Moretti, Andrea Muglia, Attilio Piovano, Luciana Spina. Torino, Sept. 27, 2004.
  • Goldovski, Boris. Letopis teatra koukol v Rossii XV-XVIII vekov [Chronicle of Puppet Theatre in Russia, Fifteenth and Eighteenth Centuries], and Koulich, Anatoli. Letopis Teatra Kukol v Rossii XIX veka (1800-1874) [Chronicle of Puppet Theatre in Russia,  Nineteenth Century (1800-1874)]. Moskva [Moscow]: Berginia, 1994.
  • Grässe, Johann Georg Theodor. Die Geschichte des Puppenspiels und der Automaten [The History of Puppetry and Automata]. Puppenspielkundliche Quellen und Forschungen series. No. 1. Bochum: Deutsches Institut für Puppenspiel; Frankfurt: Vertrieb, Puppen & Masken, W. Nold, 1977.
  • Gräße, Johann Georg Theodor. Zur Geschichte des Puppenspiels und der Automaten [On the History of Puppetry and Automata]. Die Wissenschaften im neunzehnten Jahrhundert, ihr Standpunkt und die Resultate ihrer Forschungen. Eine Rundschau zur Belehrung für das gebildete Publikum. Leipzig: Rombergs Verlag, 1856; rpt. Bochum: Deutsches Institut für Puppenspiel, 1977.
  • Green, Rosalie, ed. Hortus deliciarum/Herrad of Hohenbourg. 2 vols. London: Warburg Institute; Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1979.
  • Jacob, Georg. Geschichte des Schattenspiels im Morgen- und Abendland [History of Shadow Theatre in the East and West]. Berlin, 1925.
  • Jurkowski, Henryk. A History of European Puppetry. Vol. 1: From its Origins to the End of the Nineteenth Century. Vol. 2: The Twentieth Century. New York: The Edwin Mellen Press, 1996 and 1998.
  • Jurkowski, Henryk. Dzieje teatru lalek [History of Puppet Theatre]. Vols. 1-3. Warszawa: PIW, 1970-1984.
  • Leibrecht, Philipp. Zeugnisse und Nachweise zur Geschichte des Puppenspiels in  Deutschland [Documents and Evidence of the History of Puppetry in Germany]. Borna-Leipzig: R. Noske, 1919.
  • Longcheval, André, and Luc Honorez. Toone et les marionnettes de Bruxelles [Toone and the Puppets of Brussels]. Bruxelles: Paul Legrain, 1984.
  • Magnin, Charles. Histoire des marionnettes en Europe. Depuis l’Antiquité jusqu’à nos jours [History of Puppets in Europe from Antiquity to Present Days]. Paris: Michel Lévy Frères, 1852; 2nd ed. 1862. Facsimile reproductions of the 2nd ed.: Genève: Slatkine 1981; Bologna: Arnaldo Forni, 1983.
  • McCormick, John and Bennie Pratasik. Popular Puppet Theatre in Europe, 1800-1914.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998.
  • McCormick, John, with Alfonso Cipolla and Alessandro Napoli. The Italian Puppet Theater – A History. Jefferson (NC): McFarland & Co., 2010.
  • Niessen, Carl. Das rheinische Puppenspiel. Ein theatergeschichtlicher Beitrag zur Volkskunde [Puppetry of the Rhineland. Its Dramatic and Historical Contribution to Popular Culture]. Bonn, Fritz Klopp Verlag, 1928.
  • Pasqualino, Antonio. Dal testo alla rappresentazione. Le prime imprese di Carlomagno [From Text to Representation. The First Companies of Charlemagne]. Palermo: Laboratorio antropologico universitario, 1987.
  • Pasqualino, Antonio. L’opera dei pupi. Palermo: Sellerio, 1977.
  • Pasqualino, Antonio. Le vie del cavaliere [The Ways of the Knight]. Milano: Bompiani, 1992.
  • Pasqualino, Antonio, and Janne Vibaek. “Il teatro delle figure animate in Italia” [TheTheatre of Animated Figures in Italy]. Eroi, mostri e maschere [Heroes, Monsters and Masks]. Eds. Antonio Pasqualino and Janne Vibaek. Milano: Artificio, 1990.
  • Perets, Vladimir. Kukolniy teatr na Rusi [Puppet Theatre in Russia]. Vol. 1. Saint Petersburg: Ezhegodnik Imperatorskikh Teatrov, 1896.
  • Pischel, Richard. Die Heimat von Puppenspiels [The Home of the Puppet Play]. Halle: S. Max Niemeyer, 1900; rpt. Kessinger Publishing Company, 2010.
  • Purschke, Hans Richard. Die Anfänge der Puppenspielformen und ihre vermutlichen Ursprungsländer [The Beginnings of the Different Forms of Puppet Theatre and Their Likely Country of Origin]. Bochum, 1979.
  • Purschke, Hans Richard. Die Entwicklung des Puppenspiels in den klassischen Ursprungsländern Europas [The Devlopment of Puppet Theatre in the Classical European Origins]. Frankfurt: Puppen und Masken, 1984.
  • Purschke, Hans Richard. Die Puppenspieltraditionen Europas. Deutschsprachige Gebiete [The Puppetry Traditions of Europe. German-speaking Regions]. Frankfurt: Puppen und Masken, 1986.
  • Purschke, Hans Richard. Le Théâtre de marionnettes en Allemagne [Puppet Theatre in Germany]. Darmstadt: Neue Darmstädter Verlagsanstalt, 1957.
  • Purschke, Hans Richard. Puppenspiel und verwandte Künste in der Reichstadt Nürnberg [Puppets and Associated Arts in Nuremberg]. Special number of Mitteilungen des Vereins für Geschichte der Stadt Nürnberg. Vol. 68. Nuremberg, 1981.
  • Quadrio, Francesco Saverio. Storia e regione d’ogne poesia [History and Regions of All Poetry]. Milan, 1744.
  • Rabe, Johannes E. Kasper Putschenelle. Historisches über die Handpuppen und althamburgische Kasperspiele [Kasper Putschenelle. Historical Elements of Glove Puppets and Kasper Shows in Old Hamburg]. Hamburg: C. Boysen, 1912.
  • Romberg, Johann Andreas. Die Wissenschaften im neunzehnten Jahrhundert, ihr  Standpunkt und die Resultate ihrer Forschungen [The Sciences in the Nineteenth Century, Their Present State and the Results of Their Research]. Vol. 2. Leipzig: Romberg’ Verlag, 1856.
  • Sand, George. Dernières Pages [Latest/Last Pages]. Paris: Calmann-Lévy, 1877.
  • Schmidt, Charles. Herrade de Landsberg. Strasbourg: J.H.E. Heitz, 1897.
  • Semiotica. Special issue: Puppets, Masks and Performing Objects from Semiotic Perspectives. Vol. 47. Amsterdam: Mouton Publishers, 1983.
  • Smirnova, Natalia. Diesiat otcherkov o teatre Ţăndărică [Ten Essays on Ţăndărică Theatre]. Moskva: Istkousstvo, 1979.
  • Smirnova, Natalia. Teatr Sergeya Obraztsova [The Theatre of Sergei Obraztsov]. Moskva: Nauka, 1971.
  • Speaight, George. The History of the English Puppet Theatre. London: George G. Harrap & Co., 1955; New York: John de Graff, 1956; 2nd ed. London: Robert Hale & Co., 1990; Carbondale, Illinois: Southern Illinois Univ. Press, 1990 (2nd edition).
  • Taube, Gerd. Puppenspiel als kultur-historisches Phänomen. Vorstudien zu einer Social- und Kulturgeschichte des Puppenspiels [Puppetry as a Cultural and Historical Phenomenon. Toward a Social and Cultural History of Puppetry]. Tübingen: Niemayer, 1995.
  • Tawney, M. C. The Home of the Puppet-Play. London, 1902.
  • Varey, John Earl. Historia de los títeres en España (Desde sus orígenes hasta mediados del siglo XVIII) [History of Puppetry in Spain (From its Origins to the Mid-Eighteenth Century)]. Madrid: Revista de Occidente, 1957.
  • Varey, John Earl. Los títeres y otras diversiones populares de Madrid, 1758-1840  [Puppets and Other Popular Amusements of Madrid, 1758-1840]. London: Tamesis Book, 1972.
  • Visan, Tancrède de. Le Guignol Lyonnais. Paris: Bibliothèque régionaliste, Bloud et Cie, [n.d.].
  • Waszkiel, Marek. Dzieje teatru lalek w Polsce (do 1945) [The History of Puppet Theatre in Poland (up to 1945)]. Warszawa: IS PAN, 1990.
  • Waszkiel, Marek. Dzieje teatru lalek w Polsce, 1944-2000 [The History of Puppet Theatre in Poland, 1944-2000]. Warszawa: Akademia Teatralna im. Aleksandra Zelwerowicza, 2012.
  • Waszkiel, Marek. “Szopka”. Dzieje teatru lalek w Polsce (do 1945) [History of Puppet Theatre in Poland (Up to 1945)]. Warszawa: IS PAN, 1990.
  • Wierzbowski, Ryszard. O szopce. Studia i szkice [About the Szopka. Studies and  Sketches]. Łódź: POLUNIMA, 1990.
  • Allendes, Ana María. “Los títeres precolombinos en Chile” [Pre-Columbian Puppetry in Chile]. Revista “Títeres”. Argentina, 1998.
  • Amaral, Ana Maria. O Teatro de Bonecos no Brasil e em São Paulo de 1940 a 1980 [The Puppet Theatre in Brazil and São Paulo in the 1940s to the 1980s]. São Paulo: COM-ARTE, 1994.
  • Artiles, Freddy. “Títeres en Cuba” [Puppetry in Cuba]. Revista Tablas. Vol. 60, 2000.
  • Artiles, Freddy. Títeres: historia, teoría y tradición [Puppets: History, Theory and Tradition]. Zaragoza: Teatro Arbolé, 1998.
  • Baird, Bil. The Art of the Puppet. New York: Macmillan, 1965.
  • Batchelder, Marjorie H. Rod Puppets and the Human Theatre. Columbus (OH): Ohio State Univ. Press, 1947.
  • Bell, John. American Puppet Modernism: Essays on the Material World in Performance. New York: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2008.
  • Bell, John, ed. Puppets, Masks, and Performing Objects. Cambridge (MA): MIT Press, 2001.
  • Bell, John. String, Hands, Shadows: A Modern Puppet History. Detroit: Detroit Institute  of Art, 2000.
  • Blumenthal, Eileen. Puppetry: A World History. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 2005.
  • Braga, Humberto. Pappagalli lurrera animatutako espedizioa: brasilidar txofxongilo antzerkia. Expedición animada a tierra pappagalli: el teatro de títeres bresilleño [Animated Expedition in the Land of Parrots: Brazilian Puppet Theatre]. Exhibition catalogue. Tolosa: Centro de Initiativas de Tolosa, 2000.
  • Brecht, Stefan. The Bread and Puppet Theater. 2 vols. London: Methuen Paperback, 1988.
  • Brochado, Izabela Costa. “Distrito Federal: o mamulengo que mora nas cidades 1990-2001” [Federal District: Mamulengo Living in Cities 1990-2001]. Dissertação de Mestrado em História. Programa de Pós-Graduação em História. Instituto de Ciências Humanas. Universidade de Brasília, 2001.
  • Brochado, Izabela Costa. “Mamulengo Puppet Theatre in the Socio-Cultural Context of Twentieth-Century Brazil”. PhD Thesis. Samuel Beckett School of Drama, Trinity College Dublin 2005.
  • Cerda G., Hugo. “Antecedentes históricos del títere venezolano” [Historical Background  of The Venezuelan Puppet]. Revista nacional de cultura. Caracas: Ediciones del Ministerio de Educación, May-August, 1963.
  • Cerda G., Enrique. Breve historia del Títere Chileno [Brief History of the Chilean  Puppet]. Santiago de Chile: Edición del autor, 1983.
  • Cerda G., Hugo. Historia del Títere en Chile [History of Puppets in Chile]. Resumen del trabajo realizado en 1966 [Summary of work conducted in 1966]. Edic. del autor, 1983.
  • Cerda G., Hugo. Teatro guiñol. Annexe: El Teatro de Guiñol en Venezuela. Caracas: Departamento de publicaciónes del Ministerio de Educación, 1965.
  • Cerda G., Hugo, and Enrique Cerda G. El Teatro de Guiñol: historia, técnica y  aplicaciones del teatro guiñol en la educación moderna [Puppet (Guiñol) Theatre: History, Technique and Applications of Puppet Theatre in Modern Education]. Caracas: Ministerio de Educación, Departamento de Publicaciones, 1972.
  • Cueto, Dolores de, Jean Charlot, and Roberto Lago. Text by Roberto Lago, introduction by Jean Charlot, illustrated by Lola Cueto. Títeres populares mexicanos [Popular Mexican Puppets]. México, 1947.
  • Dirks, Phyllis T, ed. American Puppetry. Collections, History and Performance, Jefferson (NC): McFarland & Co., 2004.
  • Iglesias Cabrera, Sonia, and Guillermo Murray Prisant. Piel de papel, manos de palo. Historia de los títeres en México [Paper Skin, Stick Hands. The History of Puppets in Mexico]. Mexico City: Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes/Fonca/Espasa-Calpe Mexicana, 1995.
  • Jara-Villaseñor, Alejandro. “Precolumbian Puppets of Mesoamerica”. Trans. Adriana Robles-Jara. Ed. Terry Tannert. Tulsa Puppetry Foundation Quarterly. April 1994 (Special Number).
  • Jara-Villaseñor, Alejandro. Títeres milenarios de Mesoamérica [Ancient Puppets of Mesoamerica]. Guanare (Venezuela), 1997.
  • Lago, Roberto, Mexican Folk Puppets. Traditional and Modern. Birmingham: Puppetry Imprints, 1941.
  • Lago, Roberto. Teatro guiñol mexicano [Mexican Puppet Theatre]. Mexico: Federación Editorial Mexicana, 1987.
  • Legendre, Micheline. Marionnettes, art et tradition [Puppetry, Art and Tradition].  Montréal: Leméac, 1986.
  • McPharlin, Paul. The Puppet Theatre in America: A History, with a List of Puppeteers 1524-1948. New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1949.
  • McPharlin, Paul. The Puppet Theatre in America: A History 1524-1948. With a supplement, “Puppets in America Since 1948”, by Marjorie Batchelder McPharlin. Boston: Plays, Inc., 1969.
  • Móin-Móin. Revista de Estudos sobre teatro de formas animadas. Teatro de Formas Animadas Contemporâneo [Journal of Studies on Animated Forms of Theatre. Theatre of Contemporary Animated Forms]. Eds. Gilmar A. Moretti, Prof. Dr. Valmor Níni Beltrame. Sociedade Cultura Artística (SCAR) de Jaraguá do Sul e do Programa de Pós-Graduação em Teatro (Mestrado) da Universidade do Estado de Santa Catarina – UDESC (Brazil).
  • Santos, Fernando Augusto Gonçalves. Mamulengo: um povo em forma de bonecos  [Mamulengo: A People in the Form of Puppets]. Rio de Janeiro: FUNARTE, 1979.
  • Segel, Harold B. Pinocchio’s Progeny. Baltimore (MD): Hopkins University Press, 1995.
  • Teokikixtli. Revista mexicana del arte de los títeres [Teokikixtli. Mexican Journal of Puppetry]. Published by Baúl Teatro, Monterrey (Mexico), since 1998.
  • Albaret, Lucette, and Olenka Darkowska-Nidzgorski. Tchitchili tsitsavi. Marionnettes d’Afrique [Tchitchili Tsitsavi. Puppets of Africa]. Cahier No. 13. Paris: ADEIAO, 1996.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. Playing with Time: Art and Performance in Central Mali. Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 1995.
  • Béart, Charles. Jeux ET jouets de l’Ouest africain [Toys and Games/Performance in West Africa]. 2 vols. Dakar: Ifan, 1955.
  • Bortolot, Alexander. Revolutions: A Century of Makonde Masquerade in Mozambique. New York: New Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Gallery, Columbia University, 2007.
  • Brink, James. “Communicating Ideology in Bamana Rural Theatre Performance”. Research in African Literatures. Vol. 9, No. 3, 1978, pp. 382-394.
  • Cornevin, Robert. Le Théâtre en Afrique noire et à Madagascar [The Theatre in Black Africa and Madagascar]. Paris: Le Livre africain, 1970.
  • Corps sculptés, corps parés, corps masques. Chef-d’œuvre de Côte d’Ivoire. [Carved Bodies, Adorned Bodies, Body-Masks. Masterpieces of Côte d’Ivoire]. Exhibition  catalogue (Galeries nationales du Grand Palais, 18 October – 15 December 1989). Paris: Ministère des Affaires étrangères/Association française d’action artistique, 1989.
  • Coulibaly, Yaya. Puppets of Mali: Marionnettes du Mali. Tolosa: Topic, 2009.
  • Dagan, Esther A. Emotions in motion . . . La magie de l’imaginaire: marionnettes et masques théâtraux d’Afrique noire [Emotions in Motion . . . The Magic of the Imaginary: Puppets and Theatrical Masks of Black Africa]. Montréal: Galerie Amrad, 1990.
  • Dakroub, Karim. “Aragoz. Les traditions de la marionnette à gaine en Egypte” [Aragoz. Glove Puppet Traditions in Egypt]. Rencontres européennes de la marionnette à Gaine. Actes des rencontres européennes de la marionnette à gaine. Saint-Brieuc: Théâtres en Bretagne, 2005.
  • Darkowska-Nidzgorski, Olenka, and Denis Nidzgorski. Le Chant de l’Oiseau. Théâtre de marionnettes: racines africaines [The Song of the Bird. Puppet Theatre: African Roots]. Paris, 1997.
  • Darkowska-Nidzgorski, Olenka, and Denis Nidzgorski. Marionnettes et Masques au Cœur du Théâtre Africain [Puppets and Masks at the Heart of African Theatre]. Saint-Maur: Institut International de la Marionnette/Éditions Sépia, 1998.
  • Darkowska-Nidzgorski, Olenka. Théâtre populaire de marionnettes en Afrique sub-Saharienne [Popular Puppet Theatre in Sub-Saharan Africa]. Series II. “Mémoires et monographies” [Autobiographies and Monographs]. Vol. 60. Bandundu: Ceeba Publications, 1980.
  • De Jong, Ferdinand. “Shining Lights: Self-fashioning in the Lantern Festival of Saint Louis, Senegal”. African Arts. Vol. 42, No. 4. Norwich (UK): Univ. of East Anglia (UEA), 2009, pp. 38-53.
  • Diop, Alioune Oumy. Le théâtre traditionnel au Sénégal [Traditional Theatre in Senegal]. Dakar: Les nouvelles éditions africaines du Sénégal, 1990.
  • Favreau, Amaëlle. Un art de la fête au Mali. Masques et marionnettes dans le théâtre traditionnel du Mandé [An Art Festival in Mali. Masks and Puppets in the Traditional
  • Theatre of the Mande]. Paris: École du Louvre, 2006.
  • Girard, Eliane, Brigitte Kernel, and Éric Megret. Colons. Statuettes habillées d’Afrique de l’Ouest [Costumed Statues of Western Africa]. Paris: Syros alternatives, 1993.
  • Gollnhofer, Otto, and Roger Sillans. “Théâtre de marionnettes au Gabon” [Puppet Theatre in Gabon]. Le Courrier du Musée de l’homme. No. 1. September 1977.
  • Hagher, Lyorwuese. The Tiv “Kwagh-hir”. A Popular Nigerian Puppet Theatre. Lagos: Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization, National Theatre, 1990.
  • Hamada, Ibrahim. Khayal Al-Zill Wa Tamthiliat Ibn Danial [The Shadow Theatre and Plays of Ibn Daniel]. Cairo: Éditions du ministère de la Culture, 1963.
  • Joubert, J. “Shedding Assumptions: Some Perspectives on Puppetry in Cape Town from 1930 to the Present”. MA thesis. University of Cape Town, 2010.
  • Labouret, Henri, and Moussa Travélé. “Le théâtre Mandingue (Soudan Francais)” [Mandingo Theatre (French Sudan)]. Africa. Vol. I. London, 1928, pp. 73-97.
  • Lawal, Babatunde. The Gelede Spectacle: Art, Gender, and Social Harmony in an African Culture. Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 1996.
  • Liking, Werewere. Statuettes peintes d’Afrique de l’Ouest. Marionnettes du Mali [Painted West African Statuettes. Puppets of Mali]. “Traditions africaines” series. Paris: Nouvelles Éditions africaines/Arhis, 1987.
  • Liking, Werewere. Une nouvelle terre. Théâtre rituel [A New Earth. Ritual Theatre]. Abidjan: Nouvelles Éditions africaines, 1980.
  • Malutama, Dumago Ngo. “Les origines religieuses des objets animés et des marionnettes négro-africaines” [The Religious Origins of Negro-African Animated Objects and Puppets]. UNIMA-Informations. Nos. 61-61: L’Afrique noire en marionnettes [Black Africa in Puppets], 1988.
  • Malutama, Duma Ngo. “L’univers des objets animés et de la marionnette en Afrique subsaharienne” [The World of Animated Objects and Puppetry in Sub-Saharan Africa]. Dissertation. Louvain-la-Neuve: Université catholique de Louvain, 1987.
  • McNaughton, Patrick. “The Bamana Blacksmiths: A Study of their Sculpture and Their Art”. PhD diss. Yale University, 1978.
  • Mikhail, Alfred. “L’Influence du théâtre d’ombres et de Aragoz sur le théâtre et le cinéma en Egypte” [The Influence of Shadow Theatre and Aragoz on Egyptian Theatre and Cinema]. Thesis 3rd cycle, Lille 3, ANRT, 1986.
  • Nidzgorski, Denis. Arts du spectacle africain. Contributions du Gabon (African Performing Arts. Contributions from Gabon, Bandundu: Centre d’études ethnologiques, 1980.
  • Proschan, Frank. The Puppetry Traditions of Sub-Saharan Africa: Descriptions and Definitions. Honors B.A. Thesis, Anthropology, University of Texas, Austin, 1980.
  • Samake, Mamadou. “Jeux de masques à Sokona-fing” [Sokonafing Mask Games]. Jamana. No. 7. Bamako, May-June 1986.
  • Schaeffner, André. Origine des instruments de musique. Rites et croyances des peuples du Gabon [Origin of the Musical Instruments. Rituals and Beliefs of the Peoples of Gabon]. 2nd edition. Paris/La Haye/New York: Mouton, 1980.
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