This is a figure used in Tholu Bommalaata performances, Andhra’s shadow-puppetry tradition. The figure here is a hybrid with the head of a dog, complete with a leash around the neck, and the limbs and the lower body of a tiger or a lion. Except for the more recognisable forms, say of gods and goddesses, Tholu Bommalaata puppets tend to be versatile—the same puppet may play different roles in different performances. A composite animal like this one would come in handy given the highly improvisational nature of these puppet shows.
TitleDog-Lion Hybrid: Tholu Bommalaata
ArtistS. Chidambara Rao
MediumPerforated and painted leather
DimensionsH: 41.5 cm; W: 24 cm
Genre: Indigenous & Tribal Art