The Ramayana is India's best-loved story.
It tells the tale of a handsome Indian prince called Rama, whose wife Sita was
been stolen from him. Sita was snatched away by the demon Ravana and taken to
his mountain kingdom. Rama was determined to save Sita, and - helped by his
brother Lakshman and the loyal monkey god Hanuman - Rama eventually rescued
his wife in a series of heroic battles which are known to children
In India, the Ramayana is often performed in public. In villages across
the country, travelling actors, musicians, dancers and puppeteers present the
Ramayana outside in village squares or in the courtyards of big houses
and even palaces. These performances are very special occasions and usually
last all night.
Instructions for Shadow Puppets
Shadow puppets are an important and popular form of entertainment throughout
India. Puppets like this are often used to tell the story of the Ramayana.
To make your own shadow puppet, you will need:
- Box of paper fasteners
- Construction straws or wooden barbeque skewers
- Crayons or paint
- Cardboard (a piece that can fit in your printer)
- Choose the puppet you want to make:
- Print it out on the piece of cardboard if you print it out on paper,
glue it to a piece of cardboard before proceeding.
- Colour all the pieces in. Remember that Rama usually has a blue skin,
Hanuman has green skin, Sita has golden skin, and Ravana has red skin.
- Cut out all the pieces.
- Use the hole-punch to make holes for joining arms, legs, head, hands and feet.
Use the dots on the puppet pieces as your guide.
- Put your puppet together by attaching the head, arms and legs to the body with
paper fasteners. Attach the hands to the arms and the feet to the legs in the
- Tape a straw or wooden skewer to each of the hands and feet.
Congratulations! You've just made your own Indian shadow puppet inspired by
Don't forget: you can also create your own set and script to put on a scene
from the Ramayana yourself!
Rama is a prince whose father has sent him to live in the
forest as a punishment. Rama is the hero of the Ramayana, and he holds a bow and
arrow, showing that he is ready to destroy evil.