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Hand puppets survive in Taiwan?Video?

Updated: 05 07 , 2013 19:09
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Taiwan's hand puppets started off in Fujian Province some 400 years ago. And they were popularized in the last century by the Late master Lee Tienlu.

The show "Wu Song Beats Tiger" is about an ancient warrior fighting a tiger with his bare hands. It?s no coincidence that these performers too are using their hands to tell the story.

Although it looks easy, the art of puppetry is actually quite hard - demanding special skills to breathe life into wooden characters.

The performers are the great grandchildren of Lee Tienlu. And despite the fact that the oldest is just seventeen years old, they are considered masters of the art.

Lee Tienlu said, "I started learning from Grade Five in primary school. But the puppets came into my life quite earlier than that, like when I was two or three years old. I feel I?m different from my peers. It?s like there?s a generation gap between us because we have different interests. I may know nothing about their favorite pop singers."

The youngest student in the group is only nine years old. The boy is shy when asked if he enjoys what he?s doing, but he?s another person when drumming with the band.

There are also almost one thousand treasures on display at the Puppetry Museum. Some are remnants of the career of the late master Lee Tienlu - who set up the museum in his last days to protect the folk art from extinction. He?d surely be happy with the state of the art today.

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