Puppets, one of the oldest forms of documented entertainment, consist of various figures controlled by a puppeteer. Many types of puppets exist and provide an excellent story-telling accompaniment that continues to enjoy popularity among both children and adults today. One form of puppet, the ventriloquist dummy, won a popular, nationally televised talent competition worth $1 million in 2007.
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Marionettes are puppets controlled by strings attached to parts of the figure's body and controlled from above by the puppeteer. The difficulty in learning to control the puppet movements smoothly make marionettes one of the more difficult forms to master.
The hand puppet consists of a sock or other bag-like object into which the puppeteer places her hand to make it move. The puppet features are attached to the sock or bag in this very simple puppet form.
Rod puppets consist of a figure controlled by a puppeteer using rods attached to its body parts. Many of the Muppets characters are rod puppets.
The ventriloquist performs with the puppet by moving its head, mouth and body parts while talking in the puppet's voice through his own mostly closed mouth.
A finger puppet consists of a very small, hollowed-out body that fits over the finger. Attached to the body are limbs and a head.
A shadow puppet consists of a jointed figure controlled by rods or strings at the head and limbs that puppeteers manipulate behind a white screen onto which a bright light shines, causing the audience to see shadow images.