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Shadow Puppet

MOA: University of British Columbia

3338/3

Shadow puppet head from “Journey to the West”. Flat head made from semi-translucent cut, punched and painted hide. The face is cutout with fine facial features and is outlined in black. She wears a small ornate headdress of a phoenix over a long black ponytail with a red tie. The headdress alternates green and red with some yellow. Two large red flowers border her face, and long red tassels hanging by her chin. A small butterfly(?) sits in her hair. A long neck acts as a tab to insert into the collar of a body.

  • Narrative

    Dan or leading female archetype. Made for two foot tall puppet. Sings "small" according to opera archetype, similar to the "dan" role. Hairstyle of long ponytail indicates she is unmarried.


  • Type of Item puppet
  • Culture Chinese
  • Material cow skin, watercolour paint, lacquer
  • Measurements height 28.0 cm, width 17.5 cm, depth 0.2 cm (overall)

  • Creator Lu Family
  • Previous Owner Lu Family
  • Received from Lu Family, Museum of Anthropology Exhibitions Budget

  • Made in Tangshan

  • Creation Date during 2018
  • Ownership Date before December 21, 2018
  • Acquisition Date on December 21, 2018

  • Condition excellent
  • Accession Number 3338/0003