In the 2010s throughout rural Africa, puppetry still performs the function of transmitting cultural values and ideas that in large African cities is increasingly undertaken by formal education, books, cinema, and television.
China has a history of puppetry dating back 3000 years, originally in "pi-yung xi", the "theatre of the lantern shadows", or, as it is more commonly known today, Chinese shadow theatre.
Bunraku developed out of Shinto temple rites and gradually became a highly sophisticated form of puppetry.Chikamatsu Monzaemon, considered by many to be Japan's greatest playwright, gave up writing Kabuki plays and focused exclusively on the puppet-only Bunraku plays.Vietnam developed the art form of water puppetry, that is unique to that country.The puppets are built out of wood and the shows are performed in a waist high pool.There are many different varieties of puppets, and they are made of a wide range of materials, depending on their form and intended use.
They can be extremely complex or very simple in their construction.
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The simplest puppets are finger puppets, which are tiny puppets that fit onto a single finger, and sock puppets, which are formed from a sock and operated by inserting one's hand inside the sock, with the opening and closing of the hand simulating the movement of the puppet's "mouth".