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Help revive rare tribal puppetry

Focus: Arts and Culture

50% Funded
THE Santal community's rich heritage of art and music is slowly being lost to modernity. Help Daricha teach a unique form of puppetry, practised by just a few, to youth keen to preserve their dying traditions.

Chadar Badani or Chadar Badar is a form of Santal puppetry that has been neglected to the point of extinction. Intricately engineered, it comprises a wooden framework on which tiny wooden puppets are made to dance.

Daricha Foundation focus on aiding the process of reviving tribal and folk art forms. Fund their workshop for 10 tribal youth who want to learn Chadar Badani and bring this rare puppetry back to life.

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Contribute so 10 Santal youth can receive Chadar Badani training.


Traditionally performed during some Santal festivals, the Chadar Badani puppeteer, accompanied by song and music, would recreate as it were, a live performance by a group of dancing Santals. There have been attempts to revive this tradition, but the form remains rare. Development and globalisation have affected the cultural values of the Santals who struggle to sustain themselves, while their youth struggle to balance tradition and modernity.

Tiny wooden puppets in the making, a folk tradition being erased by modernity.

Ten years ago, an attempt was made to teach a few youths Chadar Badani puppetry in the nearby district of Birbhum, but no such attempts have been made in Purulia, where a significant number of Santals live. Daricha Foundation have been working with the Santal community in Purulia for several years, and a number of youths have expressed a desire to learn and practice skills and traditions that they have lost over the generations.


Daricha Foundation will organise a 10-day workshop for 10 Santal youths from Purulia, who will be trained by Som Murmu, a Chadar Badani master craftsman with 40 years’ experience. The focus of the workshop will be on carving, fitting and manipulation of the puppets. The funds raised will go towards stipends, rent, food, lodging, raw materials and administrative costs.

Master craftsman Som Murmu will conduct the 10-day workshop.