CAT MUMMIES & HAND PUPPETS
Elisa of the Wild Swans and Bluebeard
The cat mummies are my fictional investigation into a human belief system determined by faith: their manufacture in Egypt 400 B.C.–100 A.D. Representations of gods and goddesses were created to serve specific functions and the depiction of a deity as an animal was a device to convey their attributes. Bastet, the ‘cat goddess’ represented protection, fertility, motherhood and the benevolent aspects of the sun.
The puppet’s heads are made from paper. They represent three generations of my family; I have omitted one generation, that of my own. The ‘Grandmother’ is my mother who reached 91 years of age and her great grand-daughter is playing with the crochet mouse. My three sons are Benjamin with Deadmau5 the kitten, Oscar, an architect and Hoagy, a jazz saxophonist.
Hand puppets are manipulated by the index and middle finger of the puppeteer controlling the head, the thumb the left hand and the ring and little finger being inserted into the right hand of the puppet. For this reason the arms of the puppet are short and their ‘gowns’ are designed to disguise the puppeteer’s forearm, which is the length of wrist to elbow.