Archives for the day of: 12/16/2011

W600xH600, China

This is a shadow puppet from the province of Luo Shan.  The written history of shadow puppet in China dated back over 1000 years and spread all over the country, slowly each region has their own characteristic, in terms of the puppet, its control and of course the singing (as each area has a different dialect).  450 year ago in Ming dynasty shadow puppet theatre arrived Luo Shan from Luan Zhou.  Unlike the other region that uses donkey skin, Luo Shan’s puppets are with buffalo skin.  Each puppet are controlled by 3 bamboo rods and cast over a white cloth screen of 1.8x1m. The puppet theatre group would consist of 8 people (3 puppeteers), the puppet “cast” are huge (300 odd heads to match with 80 odd bodies), apart from characters there are also sets of  mountain, forest, vehicles, animals, furniture, etc!

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W400xL1450mm, Borneo Malaysia

Ikat involves a dyeing process which define the pattern in the yarn before the cloth is weaved.  Warp yarn are stretched on a tieing frame, bindings (dye resist) are tied onto the threads to create the desired pattern.  To achieve multiple colours, certain bindings will be remove before submerging into a different colour dye.  The tied yarn are then removed from the frame to be dyed.  The treated yarn are then carefully weaved.  This ikat is from the Iban tribe in Sarawak, Borneo, East Malaysia.  The Iban tribe are known to the world as the head hunters, the skill of which Iban men are judged by.  For the women, it is the skill of making ikat pua.  The pua are used in ceremonies; hung to mark out the ritual area, a birth of a child, marriage, funeral, healing, as well as to carry the head back after a hunting trip …