Most of us were puppeteers when very young — giving voice and movement to our toys was second nature. It is second nature to the adult puppeteer too, who seeks to bring to imagined life an inert figure for entertainment or for ritual. The puppeteer bestows life on an inanimate object by transferring her very energy to it, endowing the puppet with movement, a character, and sometimes a voice. When done well, the spectator is convinced of the life, of the <em>anima</em>, in the object. <br><br>The puppeteer manipulates the puppet with her bare hands or with a wooden or metal control. This has given rise to different forms. A <em>marionette</em> is a puppet on a string, manipulated from above; a rod or shadow puppet is operated from underneath or behind; and a glove puppet with the hand inside. The most widely used in contemporary performances is the <em>bunraku</em> or table-top figure, which is manipulated from behind. Here, since the puppeteer is in view, she may sometimes wear camouflage to blend in with the background.<br><br>These are, roughly speaking, the classic forms. Puppeteers have created variations on these, giving rise to interesting modern forms. There may be more than one type in a single show — there are few rules today.<br><br>The finest puppets are objects of art, often fit for exhibition, and the puppet craftsmen are often fine artists.<br><br>The puppeteer herself is now rarely hidden from view. She is primarily a theatre-maker for a visual, not a text-based show. She is thus able to invent the choreography, the dramaturgy, and the staging, having the freedom to express herself artistically to the highest degree.