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Puppet figure manipulated from above by strings attached to a wooden cross or control. The figure, also called a string puppet, is usually manipulated by nine strings, attached to each leg, hand, shoulder, and ear and at the base of the spine. Additional strings give more sensitive control of movement, and some marionettes can be made to imitate almost every human and animal action. Early marionettes were controlled by an iron rod instead of strings, a form that survived in Sicily. In the 18th century, marionette operas were extremely popular, and they are still performed today in Salzburg to Mozart's music. See alsopuppetry.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on marionette, visit Britannica.com.