Chinese shadow puppets
Hubei province, China
Made about 1850-1950
These shadow puppets are made of donkey hide and are in the form of a sedan chair with bearers. Wealthy Chinese people would have used these chairs to travel around in.
Shadow plays are a theatrical tradition in many Asian countries where puppets are manipulated behind an illuminated screen. Most of the plays presented were adapted from popular stories, plays or folktales.
Musicians accompanied the performance with stringed and wind instruments, gongs, drums and cymbals. The puppets movements, singing and dialogue were all exaggerated.