Puppets have existed in one form or ather in nearly every culture throughout human history. From the intriguing shadow puppets of Java to the romantically challenged Miss Piggy, from African carved-wood actors with outsize genitalia to merry maniac Mr. Punch, puppets are incredibly diverse, reflecting the varied cultures, environments, and personalities of their creators. In this lavishly illustrated volume, Eileen Blumenthal provides a comprehensive overview of the history and techniques of puppetry, examining the unique nature and abilities of puppets and illustrating the countless roles they (and their creators) have played in societies across the globe for thousands of years. She draws on examples from an astonishing array of puppeteers, performances, and historical artifacts, providing readers with an in-depth view of this intricate world of constructed actors and the eclectic, and often eccentric, artists who create them. With a lively and accessible text and a wealth of illustrations, this one-of-a kind volume will be treasured by lovers of both visual and theater arts.