Artisans

Puppetry: Shadows & Strings

Shadow puppets. By Lu Family (Chinese). MOA Collection. Photo by Alina Ilyasova, courtesy of Museum of Anthropology at UBC.

More than 250 puppets from 15 countries populate the Museum of Anthropology’s new exhibition on the art, theatre and history of puppetry, at the University of British Columbia.

Hand puppets. By unknown maker (Nahua or Totonac). MOA Collection. Photo by Alina Ilyasova, courtesy of Museum of Anthropology at UBC

Enter into a theatrical world of kings and queens, demons and clowns, supernatural beings … here you’ll discover more about the different forms of manipulation and animation that give them life: shadow, string, rod, hand, and stop-motion – exhibition notes.

String puppet. By unknown maker (Burmese). MOA Collection. Photo by Alina Ilyasova, courtesy of Museum of Anthropology at UBC

Shadows, Strings and Other Things covers everything from graceful Vietnamese water puppets to the stop-motion animation of award-winning Indigenous artist Amanda Strong, the museum says.

String puppets. By unknown makers (Sinhalese). MOA Collection. Photo by Alina Ilyasova, courtesy of Museum of Anthropology at UBC

Dr. Nicola Levell, Associate Professor of Museum and Visual Anthropology at UBC, curated the exhibition to illuminate how puppetry continues to evolve and innovate in the hands of artists and performers who keep the tradition alive.


If you’re anywhere near the University of British Columbia through this fall (talking to you freshman parents), it’s at the UBC Museum of Anthropology.

On through October 14, 2019, Shadows, Strings and Other Things: The Enchanting Theatre of Puppets (more details here

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