Masks, Shadows and Puppets from Asia

Francisco Capelo
978 616 733 962 7
285 mm x 230 mm
No. of pages
296 pages
Paperback, 183 colour illustrations


Silence Speaks-Mask, Shadows and Puppets from Asia is a journey through the many rituals and performance traditions in twelve regions and countries of Asia: the Himalayas (Tibet, Bhutan, Nepal), India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia (java, Bali), Vietnam and Japan.

Mask, Shadows and Puppets are essential for the enactment of rituals and performances. These surprising, fragile objects of great beauty are not viewed or used as a disguise or as simple forms of entertainment. Often they signal the wearer’s willingness to be possessed and receive a spiritual visitation. Their performance is often a welcoming and pleasing ceremony for unseen audiences of unearthly spirits.

These traditions are framed by ancient and sacred narratives that have been received since the first Millennium C.E., via land and sea from distant lands. Together with the dance movements and gestures they use, these ancient narratives were gradually adapted by the ancestors of the populations now living in the countries that this book visits.

Silence Speaks-Masks, Shadows and Puppets from Asia illustrations 270 objects from the Francisco Capelo Collection, assembled in the past twenty years and now part of the permanent collection of the Museu da Marioneta in Lisbon.