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Marionette puppet, ‘Tintookies Little Fella Bindi’, Aboriginal figure, papier mache / wood / cotton / felt / feathers / metal, designed by Colin Garland for the Marionette Theatre of Australia, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1958-1977

Made by Garland, Colin in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1958-1977.

Marionette puppet, ‘Tintookies Little Fella Bindi’, Aboriginal figure, papier mache / wood / cotton / felt / feathers / metal, designed by Colin Garland for the Marionette Theatre of Australia, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1958-1977
Marionette puppet an Aboriginal man. Head made from papier mache and painted brown with red lips and a bone through the nose. Yellow zig zag decoration across the brow and yellow at top of skull with tufts of feathers for hair (most of which have been lost). L...

Summary

Object No.

98/25/2

Physical Description

Marionette puppet, 'Tintookies Little Fella Bindi', Aboriginal figure, papier mache / wood / cotton / felt / feathers / metal, designed by Colin Garland for the Marionette Theatre of Australia, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1958-1977
Marionette puppet an Aboriginal man. Head made from papier mache and painted brown with red lips and a bone through the nose. Yellow zig zag decoration across the brow and yellow at top of skull with tufts of feathers for hair (most of which have been lost). Large cream cotton padded collar is trimmed with yellow felt. Collar does not meet at front, right hand side is nailed to shoulder and left hand side is nailed to chest. Torso, arms and legs of puppet covered with brown cotton jersey. The puppet wears on his left arm two arm bands, one of red twine and a red feather and the other of yellow fringing. On his right are he wears a fringe of yellow felt and a band at his elbow of yellow twine. The puppet has carved wooden hands and wears a skirt of green felt leaves, which have a central vein made from yellow ribbon. The puppet is wooden and jointed at the knee. The black painted shoes are covered with yellow and brown/red feathers. Worn around his waist the puppet has a small painted wood boomerang with black and white decoration, it is tied with brown cord. The puppet is controlled by a T-shaped wooden device, which also features a large metal hook, and another separate single piece of wood. The strings for the head are connected to the extreme ends of the top of the T by a loop of brown fabric. The strings for the arms are connected directly to the wood between these two loops. The bottom of the T is connected to two stabilising strings which hold the back of the puppet. The single piece of wood has the strings which connect to the knees of the puppet, also on loops. This piece of wood has a piece of thin wire which runs its entire length.

Dimensions

Height

700 mm

Width

240 mm

Depth

190 mm

Production

Notes

The puppet was designed by Colin Garland.

The puppets were made by the marionettists (Peter Scriven, Walter Jaeger, Gary Shearston, Igor Hyczka, Glen Pearson and James Ede), and Richard Strzelecki (who was also the stage manager). This puppet is one of the only two remaining original Tintookie puppets, made in 1958. The rest (totalling over 400 puppets) were destroyed in a fire in 1969.

Made for 'Little Fella Bindi' in 1958, used in revivals until donated to the Sydney Opera House in 1977.

Made

Garland, Colin 1958-1977

History

Notes

This puppet was used in the original 1958 production of the Tintookies' play 'Little Fella Bindi'. The puppet show told the story of Bindi, an Aboriginal boy who makes friends with animals in the bush, and in particular Ga-Ga the baby wombat. After various adventures Bindi must go back to the world of humans, the play ends with the sad parting of boy and wombat. Conceived, written and directed by Peter Scriven, with music and lyrics by Eric Rasdall, 'Little Fella Bindi' premiered at Her Majesty's Theatre in Brisbane in 1958. The play appeared at Sydney's Conservatorium from December 1958. It was later remounted by the Marionette Theatre of Australia in 1966, and toured Asia for 8 months 1966-67, and Australia throughout 1967-8.

The puppet was one of the Tintookies, meaning 'little people who come from the sandhills', who appeared in the play. In early scenes, the Tintookies find Bindi 'the last of a mighty tribe' asleep and sing him a lullaby. The chief Tintookie and the Fine Day Spirit go off to make weather for the new day, and the animals, curious about the boy, then wake him up. The story continues from there, the Tintookies reappearing occasionally to begin the day, make weather and organise the moon.

The Tintookies was an elaborate marionette musical first staged by creator Peter Scriven at the Elizabethan Theatre in Sydney in 1956. After the success of this production, Tintookie became the generic name for any of the puppets used by the Marionette Theatre of Australia, formed by Scriven under the auspices of the Elizabethan Theatre Trust in 1965. The Theatre produced innovative large-scale puppet shows with an overtly Australian content for children for more than 20 years, including the landmark productions 'Little Fella Bindi' (1958) and Norman Lindsay's 'The Magic Pudding' (1960).
Donated by Peter Scriven to the Sydney Opera House Ladies Committee in 1977.

Used

Marionette Theatre of Australia

Source

Credit Line

Sydney Opera House Trust

Acquisition Date

10 March 1998

Cite this Object

Harvard

Marionette puppet, 'Tintookies Little Fella Bindi', Aboriginal figure, papier mache / wood / cotton / felt / feathers / metal, designed by Colin Garland for the Marionette Theatre of Australia, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1958-1977 2018, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 16 October 2018, <https://ma.as/163386>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/163386 |title=Marionette puppet, 'Tintookies Little Fella Bindi', Aboriginal figure, papier mache / wood / cotton / felt / feathers / metal, designed by Colin Garland for the Marionette Theatre of Australia, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1958-1977 |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=16 October 2018 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

Incomplete

This object record is currently incomplete. Other information may exist in a non-digital form. The Museum continues to update and add new research to collection records.

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