Why does shadow theatre have a exorcistic function?
Shadow theatre is conceptualized as an art that crosses borders of which death is the most perplexing. Both the practicality of puppet creation and the mythos of materializing the voices of a shadow world may help explain why shadow theatre in a variety of Asian countries has an exorcistic function.
What kind of stories can you tell in shadow theatre?
Stories for the traditional shadow theatre are diverse, but it is true that the shadow theatre is a medium that is conducive to the extraordinary. Thus we often find narratives where the divine, the demonic, and the animal meet. The shadow screen easily accommodates floating gods or the great monkey hero [Hanuman] as he leaps across the wide ocean.
What kind of puppets are used in shadow theatre?
The shadow theatre of [Asia] in both its pragmatic and mythic dimension has a link with death. The puppet is made from hide: goatskin and donkey were used in China, water buffalo in South East Asia, and goat or buffalo in India. Skinning, scraping, and stretching of hide involve the maker very directly with issues of death and transformation.
Why was the shadow theatre created in China?
Take for example the Chinese story that the shadow theatre was created to allow Emperor Wudi (r.140-86 B.C.) to commune with his deceased ladylove. Or that the karagöz theatre of Turkey was created to bring back to life two clowning men, Karagöz and Hacivat, executed while working on the mosque of Bursa.
What was the purpose of the shadow theatre?
The shadow theatre takes the flattened picture plane of the temple wall or the picture scroll. It shrinks the dimensions and allows figures to move by cutting out the characters. Via puppetry, the narrative of the religion’s epic stories can play in the village of the believer.
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