Chinese puppet shows which originated in the Han Dynasty and flourished in the Tang and Song dynasties, have a history of over 1,000 years. The art form is categorised into four types, based on the shapes of the puppets and the operative skills: figure puppets, marionettes, stick puppetsand wire-supported puppets. Each has its own artistic characteristics. At present, puppet shows are usually accompanied by the tunes of local operas and some adopt the form of dialogue or singing and dancing. The finure puppets of Longxi county, marionettes of Quanzhou (both in Fujian Province), stick puppets of Hainan Province and the other puppet shows of Hunan and Shaanxi Provinces and the Beijing region are well-known for their wide range of repertoire, wonderful performance and beautiful music. Some puppet troupes have performed abroad many times and have been warmly welcomed by the audience.