Марионетка Шут с картами, Marionette Jester with cards

Czech marionettes

More recently, traditional theaters of the puppets of the Czech Republic and Slovakia were included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. At first glance, puppets are funny puppets on ropes, but few know that this is both a serious professional art and a historical phenomenon.

Puppet-puppets were born in ancient Egypt and ancient Greece. On the land of the Czech Republic puppets came about in the XVII century with wandering actors from Italy. These actors played their puppet shows directly on the streets and market squares (before that only cloth glove dolls were known in Bohemia), and a hundred years later the Czechs and Slovaks themselves mastered their own puppet production. The rich history and culture of the Czech land was reflected in the unique images of local dolls. There were entire dynasties of Czech masters-puppeteers, in which the secrets of making wooden puppets are passed from mouth to mouth. At one time, there were thousands of small puppet puppet theaters in the Czech Republic, there were about 9 of them, and about 100 independent collectives and 300 amateur groups. But the puppet theater can not be called children’s play or entertainment for adults – once puppets literally saved the Czech language from extinction: during the Austro-Hungarian Empire, all people in large cities tried to speak German, and then the puppeteers enthusiastically drove through the towns and villages with theatrical repertoire. First they played national sketches, and then classical performances began, and the whole repertoire was in Czech. The Czech language, beautiful, rich in intonation, easily conveyed the most complex emotions, giving the national flavor to the stories, more and more people again spoke Czech. At the beginning of the 20th century the First Republic arose, and an educated class – professors, writers, artists – introduced the puppet into their audiences and studios. So puppets became an integral part of the culture of the Czechoslovak Republic.

Today, Czech puppets are hand-made by artists-carvers, the requirements for quality raw materials (wood, textiles, paints) are very high, so puppets for many years retain their appearance and functionality. Manually every detail is made, clothes are sewn and accessories are selected, suitable for each doll. Scarecrows and devils, pages and doji, ladies and maids – a puppet can betray any image. Modern technology allows you to make a puppet even with the face of a minister or president, a singer or an actor – real artists-puppeteers can do it. The Czech puppet is the best souvenir that can be brought from the Czech Republic or purchased on the site pragshop.cz

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