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As the shows were mostly performed at night the par was illuminated with an oil lamp.Shadow puppet theatre likely originated in Central Asia-China or in India in the 1st millennium BCE.Various effects can be achieved by moving both the puppets and the light source.A talented puppeteer can make the figures appear to walk, dance, fight, nod and laugh.
The cut-out shapes of the puppets sometimes include translucent color or other types of detailing.
The most significant historical centers of shadow play theatre have been China, Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent.
According to Martin Banham, there is little mention of indigenous theatrical activity in the Middle East between 3rd century CE and the 13th-century, including the centuries that followed the Islamic conquest of the region.
As European merchant ships sailed in the search of sea routes to India and China, they helped diffuse popular entertainment arts and cultural practices into Europe.
Shadow theatre became popular in France, Italy, Britain and Germany by the 17th-century.