Slovenský ľudový umelecký kolektív

Traditional Puppetry in Slovakia

Inscription in: 2013

Proposal by:Slovak Centre of Traditional Culture

Number of certificate: KCTLK-RZ-NKDS-2012/010

Definition of element

Traditional puppetry in Slovakia is an inherent part of vernacular theatrical and literary tradition. Initially it was promoted by families of nomadic puppeteers who made their living by performance of theatrical plays. However, traditional puppetry could be considered an important expression of traditional folk culture. In Slovak milieu the original repertoires based on imported European patterns underwent a rapid process of folklorisation. They were enriched by specifi c local linguistic and thematic elements and developed their own typology of personages and artistic interpretation of puppets. The most famous personages are Gašparko and codgers – peasants Škrhola and Trčka.

Puppeteers were first mentioned in Slovakia in the 17th and 18th centuries. In the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century puppetry expanded all over Slovakia due to interpreters’ nomadic way of life. In particular puppetry was represented by theatrical families: Stražanovs, Anderlovs, Nosálekovs, Sajkovs, Fábryovs, Dubskýs and other. Traditional puppetry still belongs to vital parts of immaterial cultural heritage in Slovakia.