Are you looking for Ravana chhaya (Rabana Chhaya Show) Shadow puppetry then read out this post to know more.
The days in our country, India, the land of composite culture and traditions, are colored by various art forms and festivals. This piece pertains to the oldest form of puppetry in the world—Indian shadow puppetry. Odisha is the only Indian state to witness all four forms of puppetry—shadow, rod, glove, and string.
Ravana Chhaya, literally ‘the shadow of Ravana’, is a 6000-year-old shadow puppet show of Odisha, which starts at night with the auspicious tradition of breaking the coconut and singing hymns to Lord Ganesha and Rama. The show follows the Odia poetry collection, Vichitra Ramayana written by Vishwanath Khuntia, a seventeenth-century poet.
Although exact point of origin has not been found, it has found mention in many ancient literary texts, such as Mahabharata of Vyasa (5th century BC), Mahabhasya of Patanjali (4th century BC), Arthasatra of Kautilya (2nd century BC), Kamasutra of Vatsyana (7th century AD) and Uttara Rama Charita and Mahaveera Charita of Bababhuti (8th century AD) among many others.
Traditional Shadow Puppetry Play which is also known as shadow puppetry is an ancient form of storytelling and entertainment which uses flat articulated cut-out figures (shadow puppets) which are held between a source of light and a translucent screen or scrim. Shadow puppetry is considered the oldest form of puppetry in the world. It began almost 6,000’s of years ago in (Odisha) India. In China the shadow plays are often folk-tales and legends of the past, many based on Chinese opera themes. In Indonesia shadow plays are an integral part of traditional culture.
The puppeteers, who belong to a very low caste, manipulate two figures at a time while seated on the ground.
Today, there are still troupes and traditional families performing ravanachhaya, some of whom are master puppeteers recognized locally and sometimes nationally for their contribution to the art of puppetry.