Sunday, 18 October 2015

Wayang Kulit as Javanese Shadow Puppet

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Wayang Kulit Performance
These puppets, called Wayang Kulit, are from the Indonesian island of Java. Shadow puppets arepopular all over Asia. These puppets are used to tell story of the Ramayana and Mahabarata - epics tale from India, which is more than 2000 years old. This story is well known all over the world. It is the story of Prince Rama as he tries to rescue his wife Sita from the demon king Ravana. Rama is helped along the way by the monkey warrior Hanuman and, after a long battle, Rama defeats Ravana. He returns home, guided by the lamps of villagers across the country. This part of the story is remembered at Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights.

Some Sinden as Female to Support The Performance
 These types of puppet are carefully cut out of buffalo skin and then decorated with paint. Tiny holes are punched all over the puppet to create the outlines and textures of the character’s clothes. The puppets are used as part of a performance that happens at night and can last for many hours. Hundreds of puppets are controlled by the Dalang (puppeteer) who moves them in front of a lamp to create shadows on a screen. The story is ccompanied by music, which helps to create an atmosphere and to emphasize dramatic parts of the story.

Wayang Kulit Screen
 As well as the shadow puppets, there are lots of other puppets in the Museum. Can you find the Punch and Judy puppets?  Put a piece of sticky tape around the ends of the shoulder and arm joints to keep them strong. Punch a hole at the end of each arm joint. Attach the arm joints together using paper fasteners. Make sure you don’t make them too tight or your puppet won’t move! Stick a straw on to the back of the puppet, leaving enough sticking out at the bottom to hold on to. Wind the sticky tape around the end of the skewer a few times, so that you have a small bundle of tape sticking out. Attach the sticky tape bundle to the puppet’s hand. This gives your puppet’s arms more flexibility to move.
The Stage of Wayang Kulit


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