Artistic Attractions of the Leather Puppet Industry In India

Exquisite home interiors are something every new homeowner is intrigued about especially in the modern era. Personal spaces are implied reflections of the state of mind and being of a human being. Thus, the ambience of a house or a personal space completely depends on the owner’s choices and preferences. With the ideas of ‘vocal for local’ and eco-friendly produce, the demand for indigenous handicrafts and handmade stuff has increased gradually. India being a huge country of diverse cultures and variety of traditions houses some of the best handicraft industries of the world. 

Leather Puppetry is one such industry which is the traditional folk and cultural expression of the state of Andhra Pradesh. The craftsmen of Nimmalakunta in Anantapur district, Narasaraopet in Guntur district and D.C. Palli in Nellore district are the creators of these masterpieces including lamp shades, making these areas the main centers of the leather puppet industry in Andhra Pradesh. The leather puppet industry is quite old in the state of Andhra Pradesh and is considered to be a heritage craft among the various other handicraft industries of India. 

Goat hide and sheepskin are the primary raw materials used in addition with waterproof colors, paint-brush and scratch mould are some of the materials used for lamp shades. Lampshades are created using a mould and most of them feature Hindu mythological figures based on the events of Ramayana and Mahabharata. These are said to be quite an attraction to the art collectors and have high demand. The colors are naturally derived from vegetable dyes among which shades of red, green, white, yellow, browns and orange are quite popular. The insides are perforated and this decorative pattern enhances the attraction of the lampshade, which is done using a ‘pogaru’ a chisel. After they are colored final touches are given and the lampshade is dried in the Sunlight for two to three days.