The Kaavad Object
A storyteller’s Kaavad called the Marwari Kaavad has a fixed height, a flat roof, and a red base colour.
The number of panels is even and varies from ten to sixteen, depending on the number of patrons a storyteller may have.
The images on the panels include those of gods, saints and patrons. The Kaavad is usually wrapped in a red or white cloth and carried on the shoulder by the storyteller.
The Kaavad appears to be conceptually based on a Hindu temple which usually consists of an entrance with guardians, a covered hall for the devotees to gather (mandap) and an inner shrine or sanctum sanctorum (Garbhagriha). The temple hall may have images of gods as well as images from the epics. Like a temple the Kaavad too has an entrance with guardians and an inner shrine (Ram mandir/Thakur mandir) which is reached by the turning of the hinged panels. The panels fold into each other and the ones closest to the central core/shrine are held in place by wooden pegs acting as hinges.