The shadow puppetry tradition in Maharashtra state is known as Chammadyache Bahulya. In Maharashtra it is practiced by the Thakar community Though these forms have distinct regional identities, languages, and dialects in which they are performed, they share a common worldview, aesthetics, and themes. The narratives are mainly based on the epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata, Puranas, local myths, and tales. Besides being a form of entertainment, they also communicate significant messages to the rural community. The performance begins with an invocation on a ritually set up stage in a village square or a temple courtyard. Stock characters provide comic relief. A sense of rhythm and dance is inherent in all the traditions, across regions. The puppets are crafted from either goat or deerskin. They are manipulated from behind the screen, where lighting is provided to cast shadows. Puppet performances are a part of festivals, celebrations of special occasions and rituals, and sometimes staged to ward off evil spirits and to invoke the rain gods in times of drought in rural areas.