The Revitalization of the Aragoz Puppet in Egypt: Some Reflections

Nashaat H. Hussein


This article aims to shed light on the process of revitalization of the Aragoz puppet in Egypt. Through ethnography and in-depth interviews with a sample of Aragoz puppeteers, the study argues that in their attempt to revitalize the puppet, after several years of desertion, contemporary puppeteers have developed an approach based on (1) modifying some of the basic physical characteristics of the puppet using imported plastic dolls rather than the traditional hand-made wooden puppet of Aragoz, and (2) adjusting some of Aragoz’s theatrical sketches and narratives to be presented to the public in a contemporary style. Despite the disparities, puppeteers emphasize that those modifications are necessary to the revival of the Aragoz puppet in Egypt as a main entertaining figure.

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Popular Entertainment Studies ISSN 1837-9303