India | Kerala


Originated in the 18th century, Tholpavakoothu is also known as pavakoothu (puppet play) or nizhalattam (shadow play). In Tholpavakoothu, puppets (pavakal) made of deer skin are arranged behind a long white screen in front of bright wick lamps. It usually represents four characters from the Ramayana. The puppets are made to dance to the accompaniment of songs from the Tamil version of the Ramayana. The performance starts late at night and continues up to daybreak.

Updated on 7th June, 2005


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