1 of 6
Three long rodsâ€”one attached at the neck and one at each wristâ€”are needed to bring these shadow puppets to life. Puppeteers perform with a paper or fabric screen in front of them and a light behind them. Backlit, the colorful puppets glow through the screen. The long rods allow puppeteers to move the puppets while standing back from the screen so their own shadows don’t interrupt the action. Master puppeteers in imperial China could manipulate several puppets at once, sometimes using their feet.