Thursday, May 21, 2009

Marionettes and Rod Puppet from Guangdong and Fujian at Macao Museum

Another short post, this time about a visit I realized to the Macao Museum in Macao, Southeast China in January 31st, 2006. An interesting museum where we can learn about Tea's origins (did you know the word "tea" comes from Fujianese and not from Mandarin?) and Macao history of course, but also about Chinese performing arts and specially puppet theatre developed in the region.

Macao, an ancient Portuguese island in Asia, was mostly inhabited by Chinese from Guandong and Fujian provinces and many of their traditions are evidently from those regions. One of the sources of Chinese Puppet theatre is in Fujian province, and two cities are famous for it: Quanzhou because of its marionettes and Zhangzhou because of its glove puppets; but also an important source of the so called "rod puppets" is Guangdong province. It is believed that Quanzhou marionettes and Guangdong rod puppets were first introduced to Macao and then known in Europe through the Portuguese during 16th Century.

Some of these marionettes and puppets are in exhibition at Macao Museum.

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