Shadow Puppet Item Number: 3338/1 a-b from the MOA: University of British Columbia

Description

Shadow puppet of a female warrior, made from semi-translucent cut, punched and painted hide. Limbs jointed with fibre at the shoulders, elbows and hips. The puppet (part a) has a large detachable head (part b). Her face is cutout, and outlined in black with small angled red lips. She wears a large headdress with green, red or pink pompoms, and large red tassels hanging from the front. Two large light brown extensions made to look like pheasant feathers come out of the top of the headdress and trail behind her. She has a bow and quiver full of arrows on her side. She wears four large green with red, yellow, orange and blue flags(?). Her body armour is very detailed with lots of punched-out patterns, vertical bands of alternating red and green padding, and a yellow fringe across her chest and arms. Operated by three rods.

History Of Use

This Guardian figure represents Mu Guiying, a female warrior (wudan 武旦) and the heroine of the Yang saga (杨家将). Her headdress incorporates two long pheasant feathers--a style inspired, like other aspects of her clothing, by traditional Chinese opera costumes. The figure is designed for interchangeable heads. Each of the other heads (3338/2-7) represent one of the five common archetypes: female protagonist, male protagonist, warrior (painted face), bearded man, and clown.