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Chinese Shadow Puppetry

Shadow puppetry is generally performed with small jointed figures, behind a backlit screen to enact a story. The origins of puppetry are uncertain, although most historians believe that the appearance of shadow puppetry in China is the first recorded example of the art. Unlike other types of puppets, the shadow puppet itself is never seen in performance, only the effect it creates. The performing shadow puppet is not just a single object of wood or cardboard, but a collection of things working together. However clever or

beautiful the puppet shape, it's the puppet's combination with light and a screen that makes its magical effect. A puppet is a small figure that is controlled by a person through a system of strings or rods and nearly always require intricate hand movements to operate. Early puppets were masks used in primitive religious ceremonies, and evolved to resemble the human form. Shadow puppets were first made of paper sculpture, later from the hides of donkeys or oxen. That's why the Chinese name for shadow puppet is pi ying, which means shadows of hides. Shadow puppetry was very popular during the Tang and Song Dynasties in many

parts of China. Shadow puppetry was related to politics. In Beijing, for example, during the reign of Emperor Kangxi, this folk art was so popular that there were eight generously paid puppeteers in one prince's mansion. When the Manchu rulers spread their rule to various parts of China, they brought the puppet show with them to make up for the fact that they could not appreciate local entertainment due to language barriers. From 1796 to 1800, the government forbade the public showing of puppet shows to prevent the spreading of peasant uprising at the time. It was not until 1821 that shadow puppet shows gained some vigor. Today, shadow puppet shows face extinction like other traditional art forms such as Nuo Drama.

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Name:Chinese shadow puppetry Reply

I want to buy some shadow puppets as souvenir, I like Chinese folk culture. Where can I get some?

Name:Re: Chinese shadow puppetry

China's shadow puppet show has a long history, which originated in North China. In the past shadow puppets show was a form of drama, but now more and more people like the shadow puppets as gifts, or decorations. You can find shadow puppets easily in large arts and crafts shops and tourist stores. But if you wanna find the most authentic shadow puppets, go the the countryside.