Kathi Kundhei is an indigenous rod puppet of Orissa
. This variety of puppets is featured in puppet shows depicting stories from various mythologies and fairy tales. Stories containing social themes are sometimes featured in these shows.
The puppets are made from a special variety of pith called ‘Sola’ pith. They are about 12 to 18 inches in length and are attached to rods. The head, hands and legs are moved with the help of chords held by the puppeteer below. The puppeteer remains in a sitting position, hidden behind a curtain, during the performance. The dialogues are delivered through songs accompanied by a combination of classical and folk music. A ritualistic music referred to as ‘stuti,’ which is associated with religion, marks the beginning of the show.