Lotte Reiniger, using finely-made silhouette cutouts, made what may have been the first feature-length animated film, The Adventures of Prince Achmed, begun in 1923 and finished in 1926. She also made many other short and long films using this technique. Unfortunately, many of the films are not available in their original form any more. Here you can read what William Moritz, the animation scholar, has written about Lotte Reiniger.
Papercutting is a folk art in many cultures (there are Chinese, Mexican, Jewish and other traditions of papercutting), and was often practiced by women. In Germany, it is called scherenschnitte. You can read a little bit more about the history of papercutting here.