The actions, gestures and spoken parts acted out by the puppets are typically used in storytelling.There are many different varieties of puppets, and they are made of a wide range of materials, depending on their form and intended use.The puppets are built out of wood and the shows are performed in a waist high pool.A large rod under the water is used by the puppeteers to support and control the puppets.
In Java, wayang kulit, an elaborate form of shadow puppetry is very popular.
Tholpavakoothu puppet plays are based on selected verses from the Tamil epic Kamba Ramayana.
As a ritualistic art form, Tholpavakoothu is performed at more than 100 temples in the Palakkad, Trichur and Mallapuram districts of Kerala from January through May on specially constructed stages called koothumadams.
Puppetry is used in almost all human societies both as entertainment – in performance – and ceremonially in rituals and celebrations such as carnivals.
Throughout rural Africa, puppetry still performs the function of transmitting cultural values and ideas that in large African cities is increasingly undertaken by formal education, books, cinema, and television.