What is Puppetry?
Puppetry can be defined as, the purposeful and thoughtful animation of an object.
The objects may be anything from a fork and spoon to a 30 string marionette as long as the object is guided by some intelligent force.
How many styles of Puppetry?
There are hundreds of styles, but they can be grouped into around six forms.
Puppets with strings.
These would include Sicilian Rod, Supermarionation and Scarf puppets.
Bunraku: Puppets controlled by two or more performers by direct manipulation.
This form comes from Japan and enjoyed great popularity 300 years ago. Problem is that it requires more performers than puppets. It can be seen in Overt Table-Top Puppetry, sometimes called Modified Bunraku.
2 dimensional puppets used in conjunction with a light.
Shadow is the oldest form of puppetry and still enjoys great favor with audiences all over the world.It can be see in the Wayang Kulit of Indonesia
Found Object: Sometimes called 'Junk Puppets'. Found Object puppets can be thought of "as is" puppets or puppets with out additional mechanization or modifications. This is the primary style used in Il Teatro Calamari's Waiting for a Train.
Hand or Glove: can be defined as a covering that goes over the hand and is controlled from inside of the covering. This includes Folkmanis puppets and oddly enough Big Bird from Sesame Street.
Hand and Rod: is defined by a covering that goes over the hand, is controlled from the inside and has external rods that control the movements of the arms. The Muppets would fall into this category.
Pick a body part:
After the major forms it seems that all you need to do is pick a part of the body and attach something to it. Some of the following have definitions, but most are obvious.
Taiwan Foot Puppets, one puppet on each leg.
Humanette, head on a small body usually controlled by 2 people.
Hugo and Ines a puppetry group from Lima, Peru use just about every part of their bodies to create fantastic characters. Knees, stomach, chins or fingers.