The Randazzo Museum of Sicilian Marionette Theatre contains the collection of Sicilian puppets, which is part of an artistic skill of the early 1900s nowadays almost disappeared, attributable to the Knight Nini' Calabrese, an important “operante” (Puppet-Master) of the age. The whole collection of 39 puppets seems to belong all to the same family, and has been took over by the municipality of Randazzo in two different moments: 22 Puppets in 1985 by Mrs Leone Giuseppa and in 2005 the remaining 17 by Mrs Russo Mattea Rita.
It seems that the puppets have been created by the sculptor (Puparo) Puddu Maglia, but no other useful information about his activity is available; while for the sculptor (ramaiolo), very popular in Catania, Emilio Musumeci, we know he was a clever head sculptor, an armours maker, a good storyteller, a clever administrator of the theatre and moreover a stage designer and the autor of the theatre playbill.
The puppets are characters of the epic history of the Chanson de Roland of Charlemagne (Charles The Great) age and initially it served to set up a performance for the presence of King Umberto II. The work is typical of Sicilian "cuntastori" (storytellers) who spread this culture throughout Europe and in other continents too.
According to the Sicilian tradition, there are two stra da of the Sicilian Marionette Theatre : the Palermo one that became popular in the western part of the island and the typical tradition of Catania that spread in the eastern part of Sicily upto the Region of Calabria. The two traditions differ in the dimensions and weight of the puppets, in some mechanisms and in some handlings but especially in the different conception of the theatre and the show performance. This is the reason why Catania’s traditional theatre became more popular and with a vast repertory in respect to the one of Palermo.