Pair of Vintage Hand Puppets (Títeres) from the Sierra Puebla
Carved and Painted Wood
Ht. 19" x W. 12" x D. 12"
The mountainous region known as the Sierra Puebla spans the States of Veracruz and parts of Puebla. A tradition distinctive to the indigenous groups of this area involves these puppets with large wooden hands that clap during the puppet show and a woodpecker-like bird, called a chenchere that, through the manipulation of attached strings, climbs a tall bamboo pole.
The puppets have both indigenous and religious significance. Carved out of wood, they represent the spirit of the trees and the forest. In addition, each couple represents Joseph and Mary. When the puppets are not in use, they are placed in wooden boxes (also beautiful examples of folk art) and become a small shrine in the home, surrounded by candles and flowers.
These traditions still survive and new puppets are being created, but the vintage puppets and boxes are becoming rare. They were used in festivals, they show their history and retain their patina of age.