The Cultural Connection
Wayang kulit, the shadow-puppetry show, popular in South-East nations has similarities to the nearly extinct puppetry in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. Kaundinya’s marriage is the major theme in the plays in those countries as are episodes from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Kaundinya, historians believe, was a sea-faring Brahmin of Odia origin who married Soma, a Naga princess, and established a Hindu kingdom in Funan, in modern-day Cambodia. The masks used during festivities in those countries are similar to our masks.