I bought these beautiful huge wooden puppets 13 years ago on my second trip to Nepal. That was back in the era of the 70 pound suitcases and it was fairly easy to bring them home. While it is still easy to find similar puppets in a much smaller size, I have only seen one this large during my visits in all the years since, and that was very faded and very expensive.
They were made in Bhaktapur, a city a few miles from downtown Kathmandu which used to be a separate kingdom. Now it is a Unesco site and the temples and palace are beautifully preserved. It is a destination on any tour of the Kathmandu Valley. It is one of the nicest to visit as there are no large vehicles allowed in the square. There is also a very picturesque potters area just below the temples.
Small puppets hanging on the streets of Bhaktapur waiting for tourists to come by.
My puppets have been sitting all these years in a rocking chair in what was designated by my grandchildren as the "fire room" since it had a fireplace. Unfortunately it doesn't have central heat (it was added on to the house at the same time as the garage) so it is mostly closed and cold in the winter. There is a wall gas heater but because of the expense now (and because I have two other "living" rooms I only open it up when a fire might be fun. Those are opium pipes from Hong Kong on the upper left .
I decided it was time to move them to a new location for awhile.
They average 27" long, have wooden arms and legs and a heavily stuffed body.
Their clothes are all made of handwoven Nepalese cotton fabric.
And, of course, they have all the necessary strings for movement.
So now they have been moved to the front parlor where I can enjoy them more in the winter. By next summer I will have decided whether they can keep this spot or not.
Labels: Wooden Nepalese Puppets