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Shadow Puppetry
Shadow Puppetry in China
Shadow Puppetry
 
China Information - China Folk Culture and Art
Shadow Puppetry

Shadow Puppetry

Chinese shadow puppetry was first performed during the Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220) in northwest China's Shanxi Province. The shadow
puppetry is a traditional folk performing art. According to historical records, it has a history of more than 1,000 years.It spread to South Asia, Central
Asia, West Asia and North Africa in the 13th century. The ancient Chinese folk art reached Europe in the 17th century. The famous German poet
Goethe staged European operas using shadow puppets.

Shadow plays, with their distinctive and folksy stories, were for centuries the only form of mass entertainment in many Chinese villages.
The ancient traditional art form has fallen from the limelight thanks to the huge shadow cast by movies and television. Many bands of shadow
puppeteers have disbanded, and many of the most talented artists have died without leaving apprentices. In many areas the performance art and
the stories they told are nearly extinct.

Folk artisans can make lifelike puppets and stage props of fine workmanship with choice hides of donkeys, horses or mules. There are quite a
few processes including line engraving, hollowing-out, coloring, sewing, and paint application. They are especially good at hollow line carving. The
puppeteers operate the puppets behind a translucent screen while reciting and singing to present a vivid puppet show.



 
 


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