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Puppet Manufacture Second Stage - Greek Shadow Puppet Theatre, 1960s Object Reg. No: SH 911487

Summary:
This partially completed puppet was made around the 1960s by the Greek puppeteer and popular artist Abraam (Antonakos) in his Athens workshop. This and most of the puppets in the collection were brought to Australia by Abraam Antonakas for his performances at the Astor Theatre in Melbourne in 1977. He then left the collection with Dimitri Katsoulis who used them in all his subsequent performances in Victoria and in South Australia from 1978 to 1991. However, Dimitri never completed this puppet as he had no need for it in his performances. Dimitri Katsoulis migrated to Australia in 1974 to escape a regime that repressed Greek artists. He had trained in Greece with theatre and film companies as an actor and technician. A master of the traditional Greek shadow puppet theatre, his performances explored contemporary issues such as the isolation of migrant women and children. Unable to obtain funding and support, he returned to Greece in 1991, leaving his entire collection to the people of Victoria. It includes 32 shadow puppets and around 170 props, set backdrops and technical tools and stage equipment. Dimitri has since returned to Melbourne and assists the Museum to continue to document this rich art form within both local and international contexts.

This partially completed puppet was designed for use in the centuries-old Greek Shadow Puppet Theatre (Karaghiozis) tradition. It represents one of the female characters. It is in the second stage of production, in that it has been drawn and cut, and is ready to be painted. The creation of Greek shadow puppets it a step-by-step process of drawing, cutting, roughening, colouring, hole punching and attaching movable parts.

Information supplied by Greek Shadow Puppet Theatre master Dimitri Katsoulis, 2007.
Description:
A two-dimensional shape, cut in white, translucent plastic showing the outline of a woman's long skirt and shoes. Details of an apron, patches and ankles have been outlined in blue ink.
Statement Of Significance:
This collection of puppets, props, stage sets, and technical tools and equipment relating to traditional Greek Shadow Puppet Theatre is unique in Australia and rare in international public collections. The history of Greek Shadow Puppet Theatre, its puppet characters and the methodology of its performance has been recorded in partnership with the puppet master to whom the collection belonged. The collection is highly significant both as documentation of an important cross-cultural, centuries-old art form, and as an example of the transnational migration of cultural activity between Greece and Australia. It is a collection which was created and performed in Greece and Australia from the mid to late twentieth century, by two puppet masters, who transported the tradition between two countries. Abraam Antonakos came to Australia in 1977 to perform the puppet theatre and then deposited the puppets with Dimitri Katsoulis, who had migrated to Australia in 1974. Dimitri's story becomes one of migration experience, cultural maintenance and adaptation, and finally return migration and the discontinuance of this cultural art form in Australia.
Discipline: History

More information

Tagged with: cultural maintenance, greek communities, greek immigration, karaghiozis theatre, shadow puppetry, theatres, working life
Themes this item is part of: Greek Shadow Puppet Theatre - Dimitri Katsoulis, Greek Shadow Puppet Theatre - Lighting Technology, Greek Shadow Puppet Theatre - History, Cultural Diversity Collection, Migration Collection, Working Life & Trades Collection
Primary Classification: CULTURAL IDENTITY
Secondary Classification: Ethnicity - Creative Practice
Tertiary Classification: puppetry
Maker: Mr Abraam Antonakos, Athens, Greece, 1960s-1977
Original Owner: Mr Dimitri Katsoulis, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1977-1991
References: http://www.cv.vic.gov.au/#; Malkin, Michael, R. Traditional and Folk Puppets of the World, A.S. Barnes & Co., Inc., N.J., 1977; Simmen, Rene, The World of Puppets, Elsevier, Phaidon, London, 1975; Hogarth, Ann & Bussell, Jan, Fanfare for Puppets!, David & Charles Publishers Ltd, USA, 1985; Yayannos, A & Ar and Dingli, J. The World of Karaghiozis, 1976

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