In 2016 traditional puppet-theaters of Czech and Slovak Republic were included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Traditionally czech marionettes considered as a funny toys, but czech marionettes – custom puppets, art marionettes, hand carved and glove puppets (marionette no strings) – are the historical phenomenon.
Czech marionettes history.
These marionettes (dolls on the ropes) appeared a long time ago – in Ancient Greece and Egypt. Italian actors brought them in Czech (Bohemia) in the XVII century. Italian actors performed their puppet-show on the streets and marketplaces. Up to this point, only the glove puppets were known in Bohemia. Through this shows Czech people got acquainted with dolls on the ropes – marionettes. Population of Czech and Slovak territory mastered production of marionettes after a hundred years.
The history and culture of this land reflected in the character of those dolls made here, in Bohemia. The secret of making wooden puppets travelled by word of mouth in the dynasties of craftsmen. Some time ago there were several thousand little marionettes-theaters in Czech Republic. Now there are about 9 theaters, also about a 400 independent theater companys. But puppet-show in Czech Republic are not only children’s fun: at the end of the 19th century Czech marionettes helped to save the Czech folk language from extinction.
Before the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (1918), all the people in big cities spoke German, but not Czech language. Community of the enthusiasts, who loved Czech language very much, took marionettes and moved through the cities. They made performances on the Czech language. At first, these were sketches from the folk life, and then classical performances. This beautiful and colorful language can transmit the most complex feelings and emotions. More people began speak on Czech language again.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the First Republic Czechoslovakia appeared. The educated urban class (professors, writers, artists) set eyes on marionettes: the marionettes became an important part of the culture of new country. Nowadays the professional artists and craftsmen make the marionettes as a handicraft. Using traditional technologys and raw materials only of high quality (wood, cloth, paints) retain the marionettes for a long time. Dooly’s costumes and accessories are handmade. Professional artists make demons and witches, kings and pages, princesses and clowns. They can make the marionette styled of a popular politician, singer or actor. Czech puppet there is the best souvenir from the Czech Republic.
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