Shadow Puppetry

My Father was quite adept at making hand shadow pictures on our living room wall using his hands and fingers. As a child, I was fascinated by his creations, many with moving antics. The shadows were cast by the light of an oil lamp. Electricity did not reach our rural farm until I was 5 or 6 years old. I now know shadow puppetry is actually more effective when performed with a single light source of low wattage. Technically, my father, Ernest Detweiler, was the first puppeteer I met.

September 4 (today's date) was Dad's birthday. In his memory I am awarding a copy of "Fun With Hand Shadows" to three blog visitors. 57 pages of illustrations showing the proper positioning of hands to create over two dozen animal and human shadow characters. This ancient pastime has lost none of its ability to entertain. The winners are, Tom Rogers, Dr. Joan Jensen, and James Elliott. Enjoy!


  1. Hi Clinton,
    4 september is also my dad's birthday. Yesterday he became 81. He didn't make handshadows (nice booklet) but he helped me, 40 years ago, to make my first vent-figure. The head was made of a football ;-)
    But it worked.
    With kind regards,

    Bastiaan Verhorst

  2. Really cool, DO you have a Picture of Arnold, or what ever you named it? Thanks for sharing that withn us. Bill