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The history of Uzbek Marionettes Theater

Published: 05 february 2015

Uzbek Marionettes Theater


We are no other than a moving row 

Of Magic Shadow-shapes that come and go 
Round with the Sun-illumined Lantern held 
In Midnight by the Master of the Show

Omar Khayyam



Puppetry was very famous performance from high antiquity. It’s considered that the first puppet appeared in Central Asia in IV b.c. owing to Alexander the Great.

For many centuries the art was forgotten. Local artists began to show such kind of performances in V-VII c. and later in XI-XII c. But puppetry became the most popular performance only during Temurid’s reign. Local people liked bright and interesting performances with a great depth of meaning.

Chodirhayol

On the territory of modern Uzbekistan theater of Marionettes called “Chodirhayol”. It’s translated as the theater of fantasy or ghosts. The performance ran only in the evening time. There was enclosed space with special lighting. 


P. A. Komarov was the first explorer of Uzbek national puppet shows. His collection of puppets includes more than 40-50 dolls. So we can say that the art of that time was at high level. Puppets were made from wood and theirs size wasn’t same. It’s made to show hierarchy between different sections of the population. For example, the size of yardman’s puppet was three times smaller than khan’s one and so on. 

Modern art

Today puppetry is favorite and popular performance for children. Staying in Tashkent, don’t miss opportunity to visit puppet show in Silk Route Marionettes Theater.


Other posts from the rubric Uzbek traditions