From the Grotto to the Grotesque: Puppets, Folklore and the Uncanny
Do our collective unconscious memories of folk traditions, ritual, and pre- and early Christian use of puppetry influence responses to puppetry today? What is an uncanny response to puppetry? Historically, many societies have at times deemed puppetry to be foolish or even illegal: it was dismissed by the Christian suppression of Paganism, and later through the banning of idolatry, and since the Enlightenment period through the mockery of indigenous folk traditions. From the “ensouling” (Nielson 2001, 33), of statues in a sacred grotto to the grotesquery of the uncanny brought to life through puppetry, and onto political protest through animation of effigy and statue, this article will explore links between folklore and puppets.
Keywords: puppets; uncanny; folklore; pagan; grotesque; statue
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