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Recommended Beijing Handicrafts

Beijing Opera Mask
Beijing Opera Masks or Beijing Opera Faces or Lian Pu mean the types of facial make-up or face-painting. In Beijing Opera, different types of facial paintings express different significance – Red facial painting for loyalty, black facial make-up for uprightness, yellow face for homicidal and tyrannical, blue and green face-painting for a forthright and testy temper and white “face” for the treacherous and evil men.

The craft of making traditional opera masks is unique to Beijing China. It can be traced back to the 12th century when the first mask appeared in a Song dynasty opera. A few strokes of the brush and every color turns a piece of plaster into a Peking opera mask.

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Paper-Cutting
Papercutting is one of the most popular handicrafts in Beijing. It in an art of paper, scissors and hands. They depicted ancient Chinese generals and beautiful women, Peking opera characters and facial masks, Chinese zodiac animals, and so on. There is a wider variety of papercutting patterns available than you can imagine. Chinese paper cutting is a unique art form and has existed for a long history.

Because of its unique style, paper-cutting is popular among Chinese people and foreigners as well. The art of paper-cutting was listed in the first group of national non-material cultural heritage approved by the Chinese State Council in 2006, and it was listed as a world non-material cultural heritage by UNESCO in the same year.

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Kites
Kites can be used as ornaments and toys. One of China’s favorite past times is flying kites, especially in Beijing where there is usually plenty of wind around to send them soaring into the sky. Available in many art and craft stores, kites are among the best Chinese presents to friends back home.

Kite making is a traditional Chinese folk handicraft. The best kites are said to be made in Tianjin, Beijing and Weifang. Beijing kites are made of paper or silk and completely hand-painted. They have a strong market reputation both at home and abroad. The most experienced kite craftsman in Beijing, Fei Baolin, has developed several hundred kinds of kites in different shapes and sizes. The smallest can fit in the palm of one’s hand.

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Beijing Dough Figure
Dough modeling is another traditional folk art handed down from ancient times. Kneaded in half-cooked glutinous rice flour, dough figures, flowers and birds are popular small toys and exhibits in Beijing.

The dough toy is made of flour and sweet rice flour, and has high artistic value. With a small bamboo knife, the artist can make dough shaped as people and animals in a short time. Among these figures are beautiful princesses, adorable children and various historical people.

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Shadow Puppet
Shadow puppet play is a traditional form of storytelling and entertainment by using opaque, often articulated figures in front of an illuminated backdrop to make the illusion of moving images. It is popular in various cultures. At present, more than 20 countries are known to have shadow show troupes.

It belongs to puppet play as well as a kind of handicrafts. Its material include skin of donkey, horse and mule. After choosing material,carving, coloring, sewing,painting etc,then a puppet is finished.

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