History of development of puppet theater

Dance with zoomorphic masks and other entertainments were widely spread on the territory of ancient and medieval Uzbekistan. And later all these entertainments and plays became as repertory for the Folk Uzbek Theater.

The theater is appeared at the beginning of IV cc BC on the territory of Central Asia . And was know under the name “Maskara”. The theater “Maskara” ( from I cc AD till VII cc AD) was theater of masks. The person who wearied the mask became as potential puppeteer.

Puppets theater was descended from the theater “mascara” in the V c . The basis of Puppets Theater became performance “mascara”. Performance “Mascara” means playing of actors with puppets.

Word “Uin” (play) – performance, executive art of folk talents. It’s gathering all arts of folk spectacle. The main idea is spectacle on the square, virtuosity skills, spectacular show.

Uzbek Puppet Folk theatre was known as “kugirchok uin” ( play with puppets), puppeteer – “kugirchokchi” (puppet-maker)

“Chodir Hayol” – Traditional Uzbek theater of marionettes, translated as – theater of dreams, tent of ghosts, tent of fantasy.

Word “Chodir” means – tent, marquee. The word “khayol” has many meaning : imagination, dreams, vision, fantasy.

Theater of marionettes was the theater which usually demonstrated performances mythological and folk heroic eposes.

“Chordir jamol” – theatre, which shows performance from the real life and show all the plays by the daylight. Performance are doing by means of puppets. Puppets which were played with the help of the fingers. “Chordir jamol” – theatre, which shows performance from the real life and show all the plays by the daylight. Performance are doing by means of puppets. Puppets which were played with the help of the fingers.

“Chodir”(shirma) – scene and theatre. “Jamol” – beauty, fascination. In other meaning : bright, light, daily. The word “jamol” indicated type of performance which were usually play in day time with daylight.

Pahlavan Kachal – was a hero of all performances and comedy episodes of a theater “chodir jamol”. The characters of Pahlavan Kachal is contradictory and difficult. From the one side he was flippant, voluptuous, boastful, lazy, bustling, rude, careless. From the another side he was simple, immediate, brave and fervent. He likes sing the songs and dance. During his dance he could engage in competition with Bichekhanum and professional dancers.

The second personage of the theater “chodir” jamol” – wife (or beloved) Palvan Kachala – Bichekhanum: whimsical, slovenliness and lazy women, from the other side –elegant,beautiful, likes to wearing beautiful clothes. But she also hot-tempered, excitable. The womans who knows her dignity and in any situation she can protect herselve.

Pupperts theater were consisted of 4 groups

  • Satiric personages
  • Folk types
  • Portrets of folk artists
  • Image of animals and mythological creatures.

In Bukhara all artist lived in one quarter. One of this quarter was known under the name “Darvozai Uglon”. In the begg. of the XX cc it was inhabited with 40 families of the artists. This quarter was inhabited not only by musicians but also by puppeteers. The dance of the professional dancer, musician was on the same level as the work of the craftsmen. The professional performer were gathered in the special department.

In the IX c puppeteer of Central Asia legalized their arts and their social function in the private charter – risolya. “Puppert theater” – professional art, based on orally creation and improvisation. People who had long experience who was study for 10 years from leading master were able to work at the puppet theater. And they were honored by the title “kugirjokboz”/puppert-maker Puppet maker always tried to pass his art to his son or nephew.

Differences between the puppets of the both theater is that puppets of “tent of ghost” were done in the whole height from head to feet. For the “hand” puppets were done only hair and only dress from fabric were added. Heads were made from fabrics or from calabash (pumpkin). Nose, hands and legs were made from fabric and were added to the head.

Some masters made from special chipping of damp leather (“kirindi” or “tarosh”). Chipping was put for the two days in water after chipping were put on the special form bust of puppets – “kolib”. After the layers of the chipping were dried it was taken from the form and was covered with lacquer and dyes. These way puppets were ready.

In most cases eyes of the puppets were drawn with black dyes, or sometimes it were made from beads of black, yellow, brown, green colors. Eyebrow, beard and whisker were made from wool or sometimes it was drawn. If puppets were represented old man it was used. Hands were made from brown, yellow and black leather, later it was done from fabric.

Because of the complicated technology of making puppets from the chipping of damp leather the technology was changed in the 1930. The head was done from the wood, and the body were done from the fabric with were filled with cotton. Or sometimes it was use porcelain ready – made head.

During our time in Uzbekistan are using mainly papier-mâché for making puppets.