Marionette puppetry was used to display rituals and ceremonies using these string-operated figurines back in ancient times and is used today.
Marionettes are operated with the puppeteer hidden or revealed to an audience by using a vertical or horizontal control bar in different forms of theatres or entertainment venues.
They have also been used in films and on television.
Lewis Carroll composed marionette operas and plays for his siblings' entertainment.
Today in Salzburg in Austria, the Salzburg Marionette Theatre still continues the tradition of presenting full-length opera using marionettes in their own theatre.
In the UK the renaissance of Marionettes during the late 19th and early 20th century was driven by W. Whanslaw and Waldo Lanchester, two of the co-founders of the British Puppet and Model Theatre Guild.
The only purpose-built UK marionette theatre is The Harlequin Puppet Theatre (built 1958) in Rhos on Sea, North Wales, Founded by Eric Bramall FRSA and continued by Chris Somerville.
The Salzburg Marionette Theatre performs mainly operas such as Die Fledermaus and The Magic Flute and a small number of ballets such as The Nutcracker.
The Salzburg Marionette Theatre productions are aimed for adults although children are welcome.
The attachment of the strings varies according to its character or purpose. In France, during the Middle Ages, string puppets were often used to depict biblical events, with the Virgin Mary being a popular character, hence the name.
Additionally, one of the first figures to be made into a marionette was the Virgin Mary.
Some researchers believe these ancient figures were mere toys and not puppets due to their small size.