The pandemic has set puppeteers from Nimmalakunta on the digital path with many of them going online with workshops over video calls. Leather puppetery got a geographical indication (GI) tag in 2008. Leather shadow puppetry of Andhra Pradesh is known as Tholu Bommalata, (Tholu – leather, Bommalata – puppet dance). Two other kinds of shadow puppetry are practiced in Andhra Pradesh, the Sutram Bommalata (String puppets) and the Koyya Bommalata (Wooden puppets). The leather puppets, because of their transparency and jewel like glow, are most popular.
In the pic: Sindhe Sriramulu giving final touches to lampshades made out of synthetic leather at his house in Nimmalakunta, known for leather puppets, in Anantapur district | Photo Credit: R_V_S_PRASAD