Chinese Shadow Puppets

by Andrea on October 26, 2011

My trip to Beijing last week was incredible, and I am excited to share a few posts with you about my various experiences.  To kick things off, I am going to tell you about Chinese Shadow Puppets. Not surprisingly, these are five million times better than the shadow puppets I created several months ago.

I stumbled upon these at the Panjianyuan Market, a fabulous combination of flea market and crafts market.  A few of the vendors were selling these colorful and intricately cut shadow puppets made out of leather:

This is the one that I picked up for little Mo:

I had never seen or heard of Chinese-specific shadow puppets prior to my trip.  With a little research, I have since learned that the Chinese along with Indians were some of the first in the world to create shadow puppets about 2000 years ago.  This Chinese traditional art form was created for a sad Emperor who had lost his wife to illness.  Consumed with grief, he neglected his emperor duties.  His advisers created a shadow theater to help bring her ‘back to life’ and help the emperor cope with his grief.  He loved it and requested more performances, and that is how this art form was born.

Here are some more photos that I found online:

Aren’t these just amazing? I didn’t get a photo of them, but most of the puppets for sale were already framed for display.  These truly are beautiful and would look great on your wall.  But on the other hand, they were pretty inexpensive, and I love collecting toys from around the world for Mo to explore.  I have decided not to frame ours, but instead attach some sticks to its joints to create our own shadow plays.

images 1-3 are mine, 4, 5, 6


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Previous post:

Next post: