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Shadow play | by Swamibu
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Shadow play

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Shadow puppets at a men's lavatory in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


An ancient form of storytelling and entertainment using opaque, often articulated figures in front of an illuminated backdrop to create the illusion of moving images. It is popular in various cultures. At present, more than 20 countries are known to have shadow show troupes.


Shadow puppetry originated during the Han Dynasty (220- 206 BC)when one of the concubines of Emperor Wu of Han died. The emperor was devastated, and he summoned his court officers to bring his beloved back to life. The officers made a shape of the concubine using donkey leather. Her joints were animated using 11 separate pieces of the leather, and adorned with painted clothes. Using an oil lamp they made her shadow move, bringing her back to life.


N.B. I went for a leak, looked up, saw this, waited for everyone to leave while washing my hands very slowly, came back then snapped the photo. I do not stalk men's lavatories with my camera :p

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Taken on December 1, 2008