Puppets Or Marionettes?
Puppet is the family name and includes both hand puppets and marionettes. Marionettes are worked by threads or wires from above. They are agile and complete creatures and can dance and leap and even fly, but they have their drawbacks. They are more complicated and expensive to make than most hand puppets, and when they walk they either seem to be sitting on air or they trip across the stage on tip-toes.
The hand puppet is earthbound and he often has no legs, but he has the great advantage of direct, convincing action. A good performer can move him so that the subtlest movement has just the right shade of meaning. He is inexpensive to make; he has no strings to tangle; and children love him best for the right reason: he is more nearly flesh and blood and living spirit.
For this website we have considered all those puppets that are operated from below or behind, but not from above, and have called them Hand Puppets. The English call them Fist Puppets or Mitten Puppets, the French Guignols, the Italians Burottini, the Germans Handpuppen, Kasperl-puppen, or Kasperlfiguren. In any language they are a joy, and they offer you a new glimpse of the world of yourself. Choose a puppet, gather your materials and begin!