AGE: – 19th – Early 20th century
CONSTRUCTION: – Wood
DESCRIPTION: – Old Burmese Puppet General Sithu Gyi with moveable lower part of mouth. Finger digits are individual pieces and moveable. The clothing on this marionette is torn in the front left hand side, as is the material covering the left lower part of the arm, otherwise this is a very nice old style puppet. The natural dye used for the skin colour has worn of in places.
LENGTH: – 63cm
WEIGHT: – 1.15 Kg.
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Old Burmese Puppet General Sithu Gyi – In the book about old Burmese puppets “Burmese Puppets” written by Noel F. Singer, he writes that it is thought that the persons who decorated the interiors of temples with scenes from religious and secular stories were probably those same people called up to paint marionettes.
Although there is a history of marionettes in Myanmar dating back to the 15th century he also states that as conservation was quite unknown among the Burmese, the oldest marionettes in existence today date from the second half of the 19th century and are likely to be found in foreign collections.
Many old Burmese marionettes (puppets) that are in existence today have been repainted. Puppets were not made by professional woodcarvers but by specialists who produced the complete character, they painted, costumed and strung them.