The Nepalese Putali

In a small temple near Patan Durbar Square in Nepal, I came across these beautiful hand crafted puppets. While in many places in Nepal you can find these puppets available to purchase as souvenirs, these were well used and not for sale, their history and age would be interesting to learn more about. There was something almost hauntingly beautiful in their presentation, the way they were dressed, and how they were left hanging to sway slightly in the breeze.

These are an example of Nepal’s best-known puppets or Putali and are a type of marionette used by the Newars of the Kathmandu Valley. Each figure wears a long, colourful skirt of traditional fabric and, perhaps most interestingly, each puppet has two faces. By turning the puppet one way, the audience sees one character; when that character turns its back to the audience, the face of another character is revealed. The heads of the puppets are made out of papier-mâché or clay and are painted to look like the Newar masks used in many religious and cultural rituals.

These Putali are often used in Newar villages by the elders to enact for children some of their essential belief stories.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
#nepal8thwonder #ngophotographers #kathmandusightseeing #socialdocumentary #storiesofhope #instanepal #kathmanduvalley #documentaryphotographer #nepalisbeautiful #storiesofresilience #ryancarterimages #amazingnepal #discovernepal #humanitarianphotographer #storiesofhimalayas #nepaltravel #visitnepal #nepaladventure #puppets #traditionalnepal #nepaliculture #thepeoplewemet #reportagephotography #kathmandunepal #YourShotPhotographer #visualstoryteller #everydaykathmandu #travelnepal #onassignment #lifeinhimalayas

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s