Tunisia – Tunisian woman makes Marionette puppets for children using a simple technique 


Location: Tunis – Tunisia

Language: Arabic

Voice: Natural

Duration: 00:05:41

Source: A24

Restriction: A24 Clients

Dateline: 20-02-2022


Dalila Al-Obaidi has been a professional Marionette puppets maker for about 42 years, using a simple technique so that children could easily play with them.

She uses olive wood and a paste she forms from olive wood powder and glue to give the puppets their main features, then paints and decorates them.

Al-Obaidi believes that this is a simple career that requires love and creativity, although it involves several stages, and takes a long time; in addition, its cost of manufacture is rather high.

Dalila participated in several local and international exhibitions, and her puppets are well appreciated by the public and create earnings.

Shot list:

(SOUNDBITE) (Dalila Al-Obaidi – Marionette puppet maker:

“I have been working in this craft for around 42 years. I had worked with Tunisian Television in the production of puppets for children’s programs. I found out that children want to touch, play and discover the puppets. I thought why don’t I start this project of making the puppets and selling them. I started making them in 1988. Initially, it was strange to sell the puppets, also it is not profitable. I participated in exhibitions in Europe, America, and Tunisia.”

(SOUNDBITE) (Dalila Al-Obaidi – Marionette puppet maker:

“I have my technique, I make the doll either entirely from wood, or wood and paste I make to form its features. With looking for a material that doesn’t break. I discovered olive wood powder, I mix it with adhesive glue, and over the wooden head I form the features, I let it dry, and then I trim it and file it. I paint it white, then I color the face and eyes .with cosmetics”

(SOUNDBITE) Dalila Al-Obaidi – Marionette puppet maker:

“The hands and feet are all made of olive wood. This work is done by at least 6 people; several carpenters and tailors.”

(SOUNDBITE) Dalila Al-Obaidi – Marionette puppet maker:

“The theater groups rely more on technology so that the puppets move as much as possible. As for me, if I use the same technique, it would be impossible for children to play with it, but it becomes very complicated while this is the simplest technique.”

(SOUNDBITE) Dalila Al-Obaidi – Marionette puppet maker:

“It is not tough, if there is a will, there is a way, and anyone can learn by observation only, it is a traditional industry, but you should love what you do to be creative.”

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