Quanzhou Marionette Drama, called string puppet in ancient China, is originated from Qin & Han Dynasty. According to historical records, string puppet was popular in Quanzhou and its surrounding areas during the Five Dynasties. Afterwards, string puppet passed on so far, which went through Song Dynasty, Yuan Dynasty, Ming Dynasty, and Qing Dynasty. Currently it has over 700 traditional dramas and exclusive drama music “puppet melody” consisting of more than 300 pieces of Qu tunes (including the ancient instrument such as foot drum and gong and the corresponding performance skills). A complete set of exquisite and standard string control skills (traditional basic string operation rules), characteristic puppet head carving, puppet modeling arts, and image creating process is formed.
The traditional drama of Quanzhou Marionette keeps a lot of custom content of folk belief, weddings and funerals in the ancient area of Minnan language family, a great amount of grammar, vocabulary and ancient pronunciation of Heluo language and Minnan dialect, as well as a great deal of precious data such as southern drama in Song & Yuan Dynasty, music, and performance image, enjoying multidisciplinary research value. In the past thousands of years, Quanzhou Marionette Drama is closely related with the etiquette and custom such as birth, senility, illness and death in the ancient area of Minnan language family. It had begun to spread in the Chinese settlement in Taiwan and Southeast Asia since Ming Dynasty.