46 Iranian puppets win national status

April 30, 2022 - 21:38

TEHRAN –A selection of 46 Iranian puppets has recently been added to the national heritage list, ISNA reported on Saturday. 

The collection, which is being kept at the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults (IIDCYA) National Museum of Children’s Art and Literature in Tehran, dates back to the late Qajar (1789-1925) and early Pahlavi (1925-1979) eras. 

Originally owned by an Iranian master and veteran marionettist, Luti Hossein, the collection was acquired by the IIDCYA and moved to the museum. 

The historical background of the Iranian puppet show, known as kheimeh shab-bazi is obscure, however, it dates back hundreds of years. 

Kheimeh shab-bazi is performed in a small chamber by a musical performer and a person called a morshed (mentor). The dialogue takes place between the morshed and the puppets, specifically the traditional Iranian puppet Mobarak.

Kheimeh means castello or booth; shab is night, the time when a show is normally performed; and bazi means play; therefore a literal translation is evening performance in a puppet booth.


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