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Being a puppet master is a traditional profession that spans across cultures for over hundreds of years.

The puppeteers combine several forms of art like sculpting, painting, designing, writing, acting and music. The art of puppetry differs from one nation to the other. Indonesian puppet masters uses rod puppets performed in shadow theaters. Japanese puppeteers perform in the art of Buraku with majestic dolls that stand around 145 cm in height. Marionettes are the puppets of European puppet masters.

Puppet masters in Indonesia, particularly in the islands of Bali and Java, are highly regarded. Before attaining mastery of the art, a dalang or apprentice has to go through a long process of training which is why even at such a level, he is viewed as a highly respectable artist. Although the performance of shadow puppetry is often adored by the public as a source of entertainment, the stories have a spiritual component to it, and it is the responsibility of the puppet master to portray it with accuracy.

Garnering the title of master puppeteer in Japan is also not an easy process. A Japanese majestic doll stands to about 145 cm in height and requires three puppeteers to operate it. To be called a master puppeteer, he must be the puppeteer controlling the head of the doll for at least 25 years. This art is very important to the Japanese culture that the National Bunraku Theater situated in Osaka is dedicated to teach the younger generation the mastery of the bunraku puppetry.

European puppeteers operate on the more familiar hand puppets and marionettes. The puppet master would usually use both hands to operate on one doll. Perhaps two of the most prominent modern puppet masters are Jim Henson and Frank Oz who popularized the puppets seen in the Children’s programming Sesame Street and the Muppet Show.

Puppets provides detailed information on Puppets, Puppet Masters, Hand Puppets, Marionette Puppets and more. Puppets is affiliated with Jigsaw Puzzles.