You rarely get to see hand shadow puppets in this era of hi-tech gadgets when entertainment is just a tap on the screen away. But before smart phones, tablets, phablets, Netflix and what-not, hand shadow puppets served as a simple form of entertainment in earlier centuries.
The use of hand shadow puppets for entertainment has declined since the 19th century, because light bulbs became widely available and cinema started to become mainstream. Ideally, the shadow puppets are best seen when you only have candlelight as your light source. For this reason, the form of entertainment was more popular in olden times.
No one knows exactly where shadow puppets started but it most probably originated in China, according to writer Austin Hackney. Anyone – adult or child – can perform hand shadow puppets; it only takes the willingness to try out new things and being creative with your hands.
You don’t even need anything fancy – just make sure you have the right source of light and a light colored wall where you will project the shadow. It’s good to note that when your hands are closer to the light source, you’ll produce a large shadow but one that is less precise. Alternately, if your hands are farther from the light source, you will cast a clearer, but smaller shadow.
If you want to take a break from your smart phone, why not get creative and create hand shadow puppets? It’s easy and it can be a great way to have some fun with family and friends, especially with kids. Get those fingers and hands working and check out the images below. Follow the proper positioning of hands and fingers to create the shadow you want.
With a set of creative hands, you and your friends can put all these shadows in one show, which should make one night full of fun and entertainment.
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