2. Puppetry

Our second sub-module is on puppetry. Puppets provide a powerful tool to engage with communities on a wide range of issues. We examine puppets as they are used in developing country contexts in particular Latin America, Asia and Africa. We talk about the epistemology of puppetry as a participatory tool and how we use puppets to achieve social justice. This module is sub-divided into two modules – the first provides the overview of puppets in developing country contexts – and the second part of this presentation briefly presents developed country contexts and the epistemology of puppetry.

Learning Objectives

  • From the beginning of the 1940s puppets were used in both formal and informal settings for educational purposes.
  • The creative potential of very different puppetry forms in both developing and developed world contexts to tell a story that can change the way a person sees the world and touch them profoundly.
  • Presentation shows very wide range of different types of puppets that each, in their own way, touch the hearts and souls of their viewers

Key Concepts

Artistic form, story telling, altering world views

Puppets have been used around the world – in developed and developing country contexts – to tell stories and mimic real life situations. The sub-module shows the very many different puppetry forms which are able to move the audience, engage with them and partake in narratives through movement, colour and voice. Puppets are a powerful media through which to capture the attention of both young and old.

Key Readings

Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions

  • Shadow puppetry in China is derived from a love story that is more than 200 years old. How do you think that the Emperor was able to get over his love sickness through puppetry?
  • Following on from this presentation, what are your favorite puppet images and why? Think of a story that is important to you – part of your life – and in your imagination, choose one puppet form to tell this story
  • Do you have puppets in your own country? Did you see puppet shows as a child and if so what were the stories that were told? Did they impress you and if so why.

Further Readings

Further readings

Other related International Waters Lessons and Submodules


Next submodule: The river of life, making friends with water and experiencing water

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