The art of puppetry was born in India as far back as 1000 B.C. These puppets can trace their colourful roots back to Indian morality tales, when they were two-dimensional and highly decorated.
Puppets were found to be a useful, often less dangerous, way to speak out about important issues:
“Puppets have throughout history been used to represent good, evil, jealousy, and greed without running the risk of identifying individuals who might exact revenge against the storyteller.” thehistoryofthings.com
Puppetry spread across Asia, through China and Japan. In the first millennium BC, puppets were intricately designed and carved from wood.
Then came the sock
What easier way to manufacture a character than to sew two buttons onto a lonely sock? Now, sock puppets come in all shapes and sizes, with hair, hats, moustaches, glasses and cigars.
Sock puppets were always a form of instant theatre, easy to assemble and use, plus the puppeteer could use the other hand for the puppet’s friend (or enemy) or to control stage props. Normally, a sock puppet stage would be the size of a table and could involve up to ten puppets on stage at any one time.
Where do socks come from?
Socks date back as far as 750 BC and the ancient Greeks. Knitting got its start with Egyptian sheep farmers and quickly spread through the Middle East into Europe. In Spain in the 1200s, Muslim knitters discovered new techniques that allowed wool to be shaped, and with this, the advent of the woollen sock!