Shadow play (Chinese: 皮影戏, pi ying xi) or shadow puppetry is an ancient form of storytelling and entertainment using opaque, often articulated figures in front of an illuminated backdrop to create the illusion of moving images. Storytelling is the ancient art of conveying events in Words Images and Sounds often by Improvisation or embellishment See also Entertainment (disambiguation and The Entertainer (disambiguation Entertainment is an activity designed to give people Theatrical scenery is that which is used as a setting for a Theatrical production It is popular in various cultures. At present, more than 20 countries are known to have shadow show troupes.
Shadow puppetry originated during the Han Dynasty when one of Emperor Wu of Han's concubines died. The Han Dynasty ( 206 BC–220 AD followed the Qin Dynasty and preceded the Three Kingdoms in China. Background birth and years as crown prince Emperor Wu was the tenth child of Emperor Jing, and was born to one of Emperor Jing's favorite Concubines, Concubinage is the state of a woman or youth in an ongoing quasi-matrimonial relationship with a man of higher social status The emperor was devastated, and he summoned his court officers to bring his beloved back to life. The officers made a shape of the concubine using donkey leather. Her joints were animated using 11 separate pieces of the leather, and adorned with painted clothes. Using an oil lamp they made her shadow move, bringing her back to life. An oil lamp is a simple vessel used to produce light continuously for a period of time from a fuel source Shadow theatre became quite popular as early as the Song Dynasty when holidays were marked by the presentation of many shadow plays. During the Ming Dynasty there were 40 to 50 shadow show troupes in the city of Beijing alone. The Ming Dynasty ( or Empire of the Great Ming ( was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol -led In the 13th century, the shadow show became a regular recreation in the barracks of the Mongolian troops. It was spread by the conquering Mongols to distant countries like Persia, Arabia, and Turkey. The Persian Empire was a series of Iranian empires that ruled over the Iranian plateau, the original Persian homeland and beyond in Western Asia The Arabian Peninsula (in Arabic: شبه الجزيرة العربية šibh al-jazīra al-ʻarabīya or جزيرة العرب jazīrat al-ʻarab) Turkey (Türkiye known officially as the Republic of Turkey ( is a Eurasian Country that stretches Later, it was introduced to other Southeastern Asian countries. The earliest shadow theatre screens were made of mulberry paper. Rice paper usually refers to paper made from parts of the Rice plant like rice straw or rice flour The storytellers generally used the art to tell events between various war kingdoms or stories of Buddhist sources. Buddhism is a family of beliefs and practices Today, puppets made of leather and moved on sticks are used to tell dramatic versions of traditional fairy tales and myths. Leather is a material created through the Tanning of hides and Skins of Animals primarily Cattlehide The Tanning process In Gansu province, it is accompanied by Daoqing music, while in Jilin, accompanying Huanglong music forms some of the basis of modern opera. ( is a province located in the northwest of the People's Republic of China. Gansu is a region in northwest China. The capital is Lanzhou, a city with a vibrant musical life including many nightclubs ( Postal map spelling: Kirin; Manchu: Girin ula is a province of the People's Republic of China located in the northeastern Jilin is a northeastern Province of China. The region is home to many kinds of Musical theater, especially Opera. 
Chinese shadow puppetry is shown in the 1994 Zhang Yimou film To Live. Zhang Yimou (born November 14 1951 is an internationally acclaimed Chinese Filmmaker and former Cinematographer. To Live ( is a Chinese film directed by Zhang Yimou in 1994, starring Ge You and Gong Li and produced by the Shanghai
The origins of Taiwan's shadow puppetry can be traced to the Chaochow school of shadow puppet theater. Taiwan ( Taiwanese: Tâi-oân/Tāi-oân (historically 大灣/台員/大員/台圓/大圓/台窩灣 is an Island in East Asia. Commonly known as leather monkey shows or leather shows, the shadow plays were popular in Tainan, Kaohsiung, and Pingtung as early as the Qing dynasty (1644-1911 A. Pingtung City ( Taiwanese: Pîn-tong-chhī is the capital of Pingtung County, Taiwan ( Republic of China) Not to be confused with Qin Dynasty, the first dynasty of Imperial China D. ). Older puppeteers estimate that there were at least a hundred shadow puppet troupes in southern Taiwan in the closing years of the Qing. Traditionally, the eight to 12-inch puppet figures, and the stage scenery and props such as furniture, natural scenery, pagodas, halls, and plants are all cut from leather. As shadow puppetry is based on light penetrating through a translucent sheet of cloth, the "shadows" are actually silhouettes seen by the audience in profile or face on. Taiwan's shadow plays are accompanied by Chaochow melodies which are often called "priest's melodies" owing to their similarity with the music used by Taoist priests at funerals. A large repertoire of some 300 scripts of the southern school of drama used in shadow puppetry and dating back to the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries has been preserved in Taiwan and is considered to be a priceless cultural asset. .
A number of terms are used to describe the different forms.
The show began to spread to Europe in the mid-18th century, when French missionaries in China took it back to France in 1767 and put on performances in Paris and Marseilles, causing quite a stir. This article is about the country For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic France topics. Paris (ˈpærɨs in English; in French) is the Capital of France and the country's largest city Marseille, ( English alt Marseilles mɑrˈseɪ — French: maʁsɛj locally — Provençal Occitan: Marselha maʀˈsijɔ In time, the Ombres chinoises (French for "Chinese Shadows") with local modification and embellishment, became the Ombres françaises and struck root in the country. French ( français,) is a Romance language spoken around the world by 118 million people as a native language and by about 180 to 260 million people 
The art was a popular entertainment in Paris during the 19th century, especially in the famous nightclub district of Montmartre. Montmartre is a hill (the butte Montmartre) which is 130 metres high giving its name to the surrounding district in the north of Paris in the 18th The tradition in France dates back to at least the mid-18th century when it was brought back by travellers to the Orient. This article is about the country For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic France topics. The puppeteer Dominique Séraphin first presented the spectacle in Paris in 1776, and in Versailles in 1781. Versailles (vɛʀsaj in French) formerly de facto capital of the kingdom of France, is now a wealthy suburb of Paris and is still an important
The cabaret Le Chat noir ("The Black Cat") produced a number of popular Ombres chinoises shows in the 1880s, using up to 20 assistants and a large, oxy-hydrogen back-lit performance area. Le Chat Noir ( French for "The Black Cat" was a 19th-century Cabaret in the bohemian Montmartre district of Paris. The Ombres evolved into numerous theatrical productions and had a major influence on phantasmagoria. Phantasmagoria ( also fantasmagorie, fantasmagoria) was a precinema projection Ghost show invented in France in the late 18th century 
In Indonesia (notably Java and Bali), and Malaysia (Kelantan), shadow puppet plays are known as wayang kulit. The Republic of Indonesia ( (Republik Indonesia is a Country in Southeast Asia. Java (Jawa is an Island of Indonesia and the site of its Capital city Jakarta. Bali is an Indonesian Island located at, the westernmost of the Lesser Sunda Islands, lying between Java to the west and Lombok to For the biogeographical region see Malesia Malaysia (məˈleɪʒə or /məˈleɪziə/ is a country that consists of thirteen states and Kelantan is a state of Malaysia. The capital and royal seat is Kota Bharu. Wayang is an Indonesian and Malay word for Theatre. When the term is used to refer to kinds of puppet theater sometimes the puppet itself is referred In Javanese and Malay, Wayang means shadow or imagination, while Kulit means skin and refers to the leather that puppets are made from. The Malay language ( ISO 639-1 code MS is an Austronesian language spoken by the Malay people and people of other ethnic groups who reside in the Stories presented are usually mythical & morality tales. The word mythology (from the Greek grc μυθολογία mythología, meaning "a story-telling a legendary lore" There is an educational moral to the plays which usually portray a battle between good and evil, with good always winning and evil running away (but eventually to return). The Indonesian shadow plays are sometimes considered one of the earliest examples of animation.
The puppets are made primarily of leather and manipulated with sticks or buffalo horn handles. Leather is a material created through the Tanning of hides and Skins of Animals primarily Cattlehide The Tanning process Shadows are cast using an oil lamp or, in modern times, a halogen light, onto a cotton cloth background. An oil lamp is a simple vessel used to produce light continuously for a period of time from a fuel source Cotton is a soft staple Fibre that grows around the seeds of the cotton plant ( Gossypium sp They are often associated with gamelan drum music (or Pinpeat orchestral in Cambodia). A gamelan is a musical ensemble of Indonesia typically featuring a variety of instruments such as metallophones xylophones drums and gongs bamboo flutes bowed and The pinpeat Orchestra or Musical ensemble performs the ceremonial music of the former courts and temples of Cambodia. The Kingdom of Cambodia ( formerly known as Kampuchea (, transliterated: Preăh Réachéanachâkr Kâmpŭchea) is a country in South East Shadow plays are very popular even today. They are performed during sacred temple ceremonies, at private functions, and for the public in the villages. A performance can last all night long, sometimes up to six hours or until dawn.
UNESCO designated Wayang Kulit as a Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity on November 7, 2003. United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization ( UNESCO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations established on November 16 The Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity is a list maintained by UNESCO with pieces of Intangible culture considered relevant by that Events 1492 - The Ensisheim Meteorite the oldest Meteorite with a known date of impact strikes the Earth around noon in a Wheat Year 2003 ( MMIII) was a Common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar.
Shadow theatre in Thailand is called Nang Yai; in the south there is a tradition called Nang Ta Lung. The Kingdom of Thailand (ˈtaɪlænd ราชอาณาจักรไทย, râːtɕʰa-ʔaːnaːtɕɑ̀k-tʰɑj Nang yai is a form of shadow play found in Thailand. It is now confined almost exclusively to the southern part of the country Nang Yai puppets are normally made of cowhide and rattan. Cowhide is the natural product/by-product of the Food industry from Cattle. Rattan (from the Malay rotan) is the name for the roughly six hundred Species of palms in the tribe Calameae, native to tropical Performances are normally accompanied by a combination of songs and chants. A song is a Musical composition. Songs contain vocal parts that are performed 'sung' and generally feature Words ( Lyrics) commonly followed Chant (from Old French chanter) is the Rhythmic speaking or Singing of Words or Sounds often primarily on one or two Performances in Thailand were temporarily suspended in 1960 due to a fire at the national theatre. Nang drama has influenced modern Thai cinema, including filmmakers like Cherd Songsri and Payut Ngaokrachang. The cinema of Thailand has a history that stretches back to early days of filmmaking, when King Chulalongkorn 's 1897 visit to Berne, Cherd Songsri ( Thai: เชิด ทรงศรี September 20, 1931 – May 21, 2006) was a Thai Film director Payut Ngaokrachang (ปยุต เงากระจ่าง born April 1, 1929) is a Thai Cartoonist and Animator. 
The Turkish tradition of shadow play called Karagöz and Hacivat was widespread throughout the Ottoman Empire and featured characters representing all of the major ethnic and social groups in that culture. Turkey (Türkiye known officially as the Republic of Turkey ( is a Eurasian Country that stretches Karagöz (meaning blackeye in Turkish) and Hacivat (also written Hacivad) are the lead characters of the traditional Turkish  It was performed by a single puppet master, who voiced all of the characters, and accompanied by a classical Ottoman music ensemble. Its origins are obscure, deriving perhaps from an older Egyptian tradition, or possibly from an Asian source. This article is about the country of Egypt For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Egypt topics.
During the 19th century these characters were adapted to the Greek language and culture, Karagöz and Hacivat becoming Karagiozis and Hadjiavatis with each of the characters assuming stereotypically Greek personalities. The 19th century of the Common Era began on January 1, 1801 and ended on December 31, 1900, according to the Gregorian calendar Karagöz (meaning blackeye in Turkish) and Hacivat (also written Hacivad) are the lead characters of the traditional Turkish Karagöz (meaning blackeye in Turkish) and Hacivat (also written Hacivad) are the lead characters of the traditional Turkish Karagiozis ( Greek: Καραγκιόζης, from Turkish: Karagöz) is a Shadow puppet and Fictional character Karagiozis ( Greek: Καραγκιόζης, from Turkish: Karagöz) is a Shadow puppet and Fictional character This tradition thrived throughout Greece after independence as popular entertainment for a largely adult audience, particularly before competition arose from television. The stories did, however, retain the period setting in the late years of the Ottoman Empire. Karagiozis theatre has undergone some revival in recent years, with the intended audience tends largely juvenile.
In the 1910's the German animator Lotte Reiniger pioneered silhouette animation as a format, whereby shadow play-like puppets are filmed frame-by-frame. Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany ( ˈbʊndəsʁepuˌbliːk ˈdɔʏtʃlant is a Country in Central Europe. Charlotte (Lotte Reiniger ( June 2, 1899 - June 19, 1981) was a German (and later a British) silhouette animator Silhouette animation is Animation in which the characters are only visible as black silhouettes Stop motion (or frame-by-frame) animation is an Animation technique to make a physically manipulated object appear to move on its own This technique has been kept alive by subsequent animators and is still practised today, though cel animation (most famously in the TV anime Revolutionary Girl Utena) and computer animation (such as the German short film Our Man in Nirvana) has also been used to imitate the look of shadow play and silhouette animation. Traditional animation, also referred to as classical animation, cel animation, or hand-drawn animation, is the oldest and historically the most popular (anime in Japanese, is a Manga by Chiho Saito and Anime directed by Kunihiko Ikuhara. Computer-generated imagery Computer animation is the art of creating moving images with the use of Computers It is a subfield of Computer graphics
Shadow theatre itself is still popular in many parts of Asia. Prahlad Acharya is one famous Indian magician who incorporates it into his performances. Prahlad Acharya is a popular magician, Illusionist, Escapologist, and Stunt performer from Udupi, Karnataka, India India, officially the Republic of India (भारत गणराज्य inc-Latn Bhārat Gaṇarājya; see also other Indian languages) is a country
Richard Bradshaw OAM is a famous Australian shadow puppeteer. Richard Bradshaw OAM, born 1938 is an internationally renowned Australian puppeteer His character Super Kangaroo is just one in his varied repertoire.  The skill of Bradshaw has been featured in television programs made by Jim Henson. For other uses of "Henson" see Henson. James Maury "Jim" Henson (September 24 1936 &ndash May 16 1990 was one of
Wayang kulit as seen by the audience
Shadow puppet from Kelantan. Wayang is an Indonesian and Malay word for Theatre. When the term is used to refer to kinds of puppet theater sometimes the puppet itself is referred Wayang is an Indonesian and Malay word for Theatre. When the term is used to refer to kinds of puppet theater sometimes the puppet itself is referred Bali is an Indonesian Island located at, the westernmost of the Lesser Sunda Islands, lying between Java to the west and Lombok to The Republic of Indonesia ( (Republik Indonesia is a Country in Southeast Asia. Karagöz (meaning blackeye in Turkish) and Hacivat (also written Hacivad) are the lead characters of the traditional Turkish Karagöz (meaning blackeye in Turkish) and Hacivat (also written Hacivad) are the lead characters of the traditional Turkish Kelantan is a state of Malaysia. The capital and royal seat is Kota Bharu.