Tholubomallu leather puppets,

Pothulanagepalle, Andhra Pradesh

About Tholubomallu leather puppets,

This Leather Puppetry Art belongs to the traditional families who have been practising this craft for many generations. One among the clusters is a family of four members, consisting of senior Artist, Gangisetty and his wife Shankaramma, as well as his sons Shiva and Mani who are involved in this craft. Shiva is very skilled in detailing designs and adding colours to the puppet figures. Sriramulu is a master artist, whose expertise lies in trying out innovative ideas, keeping mythological themes and characters intact.
He conducts workshops in collaboration with NGO’s.

Leather puppet making, locally known as ‘Tholu Bommalata’ meaning ‘the dance of leather puppets’, is an ancient folk art. It is an entertainment form of shadow play that reached its pinnacle during the rule of the
Vijaynagara Empire. Originally, the play depicted the tales from mythology like Ramayana and Mahabharata. Presently, it is the livelihood of
a remote village consisting of two hundred families in Nimmalakunta of Dharmavaram Mandal, Anantpur District, AP.
The raw materials used are goat hide and sheepskin. In addition to this, water proof colors, paint-brushes and bamboo kalam is used for the craft. Today the Puppetry craft has become synonymous with decor arts. They
create beautiful surroundings in the form of wall art, lampshades, mirrors etc. They have also become a major attraction in the emerging
market of leather jewellery. The craft lends itself today to a range of items created by the artisans with the help of modern designers and interior decorators."

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