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Wayang, Indonesia's Big Treasure

                     Wayang is a Javanese word for particular kinds of theatre (literally "theatre" or sometimes "puppet"). When the term is used to refer to kinds of puppet theatre, sometimes the puppet itself is referred to as wayang. Performances of shadow puppet theatre are accompanied by gamelan in Java, and by gender wayang in Bali.
UNESCO designated Wayang Kulit, a shadow puppet theatre and the best known of the Indonesian wayang, as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity on 7 November 2003. In return for the acknowledgment, UNESCO required Indonesians to preserve their heritage.

                     The shadow puppet theater is spread in several region Indonesia is a place where the tradition of this form of performances is still the most popular and lively particularly in the islands of Bali and definitively in the central region of Java.
Wayang Kulit in Central Java is probably one of the oldest continuous traditions of storytelling in the world, and certainly among the most highly developed.
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              The wayang is a flat or round puppets used for shows in Java.The wayang kulit is the flat one and it is made with buffalo leather. They are manipulated behind a white screen with a back light, so the attendance can see them as shadow puppets.
A wayang performance is also a great place to listen to a Gamalan orchestra which always comes along with the play.
Wayang is well integrated in Javanese society, and it is considered to be a highlight of Javanese culture. Wayang Kulit in an ancient form of performing art and was already established in the East Javanese kingdoms one thousand years ago.
  • The Historical  of Wayang.
  • Kinds of Wayang.
  • Wayang Kulit performance
  • What is it "Dalang"?
  • Epic and Drama
  • Ramayana
  • Mahabarata

There are many kinds of wayanng

  • Wayang kulit
    Wayang Kulit (shadow puppet) in Wayang Purwa type, depicting five Pandava, from left to right: Bhima, Arjuna, Yudhishtira, Nakula, and Sadewa.
    Wayang kulit, shadow puppets prevalent in Java and Bali in Indonesia, are without a doubt the best known of the Indonesian wayang. Kulit means skin, and refers to the leather construction of the puppets that are carefully chiselled with very fine tools and supported with carefully shaped buffalo horn handles and control rods.
  • Wayang wong and wayang topeng or wayang gedog

                 Wayang wong also known as Wayang orang (literally human wayang) is a type of Javanese dance theatrical performance with themes taken from episode of Ramayana or Mahabharata.
    While wayang gedog usually the theatrical performance that took the themes from the Panji cycles stories from the kingdom of Janggala, in which the players wear masks known as wayang topeng or wayang gedog. The word "gedog" comes from "kedok", which, like "topeng" means "mask".  

  • Wayang golek (rod puppets)
       Wayang golek are wooden doll puppets that are operated from below by rods connected to the hands and a central control rod that runs through the body to the head. The simple construction of the puppets belies their versatility, expressiveness and aptitude for imitating human dance. Today, wayang golek is mainly associated with Sundanese culture of West Java. However the wooden wayang also known in Central Java as Wayang Menak, originated from Kudus Central Java.      

  • Wayang karucil or wayang klitik 

                   Wayang klitik figures occupy a middle ground between the figures of wayang golek and wayang kulit. They are constructed similarly to wayang kulit figures, but from thin pieces of wood instead of leather, and, like wayang kulit figures, are used as shadow puppets. A further similarity is that they are the same smaller size as wayang kulit figures. However, wood is more subject to breakage than leather. During battle scenes, wayang klitik figures often sustain considerable damage, much to the amusement of the public, but in a country in which before 1970 there were no adequate glues available, breakage generally meant an expensive, newly made figure. On this basis the wayang klitik figures, which are to appear in plays where they have to endure battle scenes, have leather arms.
                   The name of these figures is onomotopaeic, from the sound klitik-klitik, that these figures make when worked by the dalang.Wayang klitik figures come originally from eastern Java, where one still finds workshops turning them out. They are less costly to produce than wayang kulit figures.

  • Wayang beber
    The wayang beber has strong similarities to narratives in the form of illustrated ballads that were common at annual fairs in medieval and early modern Europe. They have also been subject to the same fate—they have nearly vanished although there are still some groups of artists who support wayang beber in places such as Surakarta (Solo) in Central Java. Chinese visitors to Java during the 15th century described a storyteller or unrolled scrolls and told stories that made the audience laugh or cry. A few scrolls of images remain from those times, found today in museums. There are two sets, hand-painted on hand-made bark cloth, that are still owned by families who have inherited them from many generations ago, in Pacitan and Wonogiri, both villages in Central Java. Performances, mostly in small open-sided pavilions or auditoriums, take place according to the following pattern:
                     The dhalang (puppeteer, narrator) gives a sign, the small gamelan orchestra with drummer and a few knobbed gongs and a musician with a rebab (violin-like instrument held vertically) begins to play and the dhalang unrolls the first scroll of the story. Then, speaking and singing, he narrates the episode in more detail. In this manner, in the course of the evening he unrolls several scrolls one at a time. Each scene in the scrolls represents a story or part of a story. The content of the story typically stems from the Panji romances which are semi-historical legends set in the 12th-13th century East Javanese kingdoms of Jenggala, Daha and Kediri, and also in Bali.
  • Wayang Sadat

    This newly developed form is used by teachers of Islam to show the principles of Muslim ethics and religion to the natives of Java and Bali. The term "sadat" derived from shahada (Arabic: الشهادة aš-šahādah).

  • Wayang Wahyu

     This form was created in the 1960s by the Javanese Jesuit Brother Timotheus L. Wignyosubroto who sought to show the Javanese and other Indonesians the teachings of the Catholic Church in a manner accessible to the audience. In the beginning, the puppets were often made of paper because it was less expensive than the traditional water buffalo hide. It became popular as an alternative method of telling Bible stories.

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