Leather Lamp Stand-Handcrafted by Puppet Makers - Andhra Pradesh
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The leather puppetry of Andhra Pradesh is amongst the oldest shadow puppet traditions. It is a medium of entertainment, of sharing and transmitting folklore, and of communicating information and knowledge. Most leather puppets were, and continue to be, influenced by the social context around the artists.
The traditional process of crafting shadow puppets requires 30-40 days, from the procurement of leather to the completion of the product.
However, with the shortage of water, use of newer materials and the switching over to smaller products, the artisans now take only two to three days to make a medium-sized product.
The process starts with procurement of fresh goat hide from the weekly meat market. The hide is then soaked in cold water for two to three hours before it can be cut and flattened. The hide is washed thoroughly in warm water and then put to dry in the sun for a few hours. Once it is ready, the artists cut the leather to size depending on the product requirement.
The outlines of the figures are painted in black with the help of a bamboo nib. Once the figure is outlined, the leather is coloured in vibrant hues, such as red, green and ochre, among others. Ink is used as a colouring agent and is applied with a brush.