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The New York Zoo Green of Straw Puppets

[ NEW YORK, NY - NYC - 7/4/2001 - www.Littleviews.com ]

Dragon by Yu Shao Hua

>>  Always on the outlook for unusual and highly skilled artists, I was thrilled to meet Yu Shoa Hau, a Chinese weaver.

On this particular weekday, I found his table in front of a Bank of New York building on lower Broadway in the financial district. He or his associates are more commonly seen farther up on Broadway in the SOHO district.

Mr. Hau specializes in creating delicate straw animals and insects. These make up the inventory of Zoo Green, his business.

Crab. Mouse. Dragonfly. Shrimp. Goat. Butterfly. Kangaroo. Some, like Mouse, are approximately an inch long, while others, like Dragon (pictured), are over 14 inches. Fifty characters are represented, all puppets, ranging from $4 to $30.

Dragon ($22) dangles by red threads from a bamboo skewer. It's woven from three shades of reeds. Light colored reeds are used for its face and military green reeds comprise the body.

That thickly pleated body is about an inch in diameter, textured to look like reptile scales. It's woven into a springy W, with the head on one end and the tale on the other.

Dragon is very flexible and twists and turns when you hold it! It's quite strong (I brought it home in a bag during a windy rain storm), but looks delicate.

Zoo Green puppets dangle off a slender straw blade that springs in response to a light wind or by waving a skewer, as shown.

Buy them for gifts or personal use. Stick them in planters; appropriate for tiny Grasshopper, Dragonfly, Butterfly and Mouse. Display them in bows, nest them in bouquets, hang them off baskets and place them in hair. I display Dragon flat against a wall, but these critters look great dangling from shelves, too. Many make beautiful children's toys.

Look for Yu Shao Hua at his table in afternoons, weather permitting. If you are interested in learning where Yu Shao Hua will show next, or you can't make it to New York, call 917-257-5655 for details.

January 2005: Zoo Green puppets can be regularly seen on Mott Street, just south of Canal Street.

Questions? Comments?
Karen Little

Article and photos by Karen Little. First published on 7/4/2001. All rights reserved by www.Littleviews.com.

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