Sicilian Puppets from Catania
Dennis Jarvis - CC2.0
The Sicilian puppets are a particular type of puppets used in the Opera dei Pupi, an oral and intangible heritage of humanity by UNESCO. The Sicilian puppets are distinguished from other puppets for their very particular handling mechanics: in the eighteenth century the puppets were animated from above by means of a thin metal rod connected to the head and by means of several wires that allowed the movements of the arms and legs. ; in Sicily, in the first half of the nineteenth century, technical expedients were introduced that transformed the puppets into puppets. In the first place, the metal rod for the movement of the head was no longer connected through a joint but crossing it from the inside and, moreover, the wire used for the animation of the right arm was replaced with a sturdy metal rod , which is the peculiar characteristic of the Sicilian puppet . Thanks to these technical devices it was possible to animate the puppets with rapid, direct and precise movements and it was thus possible to represent on the stage the duels and fights of chivalric stories. depending on whether they are from Palermo or Catania.
The Sicilian puppets from Catania have a padded wooden skeleton, have a height ranging from 110 to 130 cm, a weight of about 16 kg, and have rigocchia rigid because "a true paladin never bends his knees and never leaves his sword".
Today it is possible to buy the traditional Sicilian puppet made entirely by hand with a hand-painted wooden head, embossed and decorated brass armor by hand and with hand-sewn clothes.