Sunday, October 26, 2008

Wayang Golek



The term “Wayang golek” refers both to the or the traditional Sundanese (West Javanese) wooden puppets and the show with this kind of puppets. Unlike any other wayang puppets in other parts of Indonesia which are made of goat skin and are performed as a behind-the-screen shadow show, “wayang golek” is made of wood and is performed without the screen.

The word “wayang” may have come from the words “Wa” and “Hyang” (which together mean ancestors) or “bayang” (shadow).

“Wayang golek” show is performed by a puppeteer called “dalang” with an ensemble of “gamelan” music. The show is usually performed in the evening and typically lasts for about six hours. Originally, “wayang golek” used to be performed only at thanksgiving, harvest parties, and ceremonies to ask for God’s protection from evil spirits. Now it is also performed at wedding receptions, circumscision ceremony, company’s unniversaries, and other social functions.

The stories at “wayang golek” performance are typically dirived from the Hindu-Indian epics of Ramayana and Mahabarata. However, they have been adapted to the local Sundanese Moslem wisdom and values.

The photo above are four of “wayang golek” characters. I took this photo at the Kemilau Nusantara fest (see yesterday’s post).

6 comments:

dina said...

They are beautiful wooden people but . . . SIX hours for the show?

the donG said...

i want to buy one! perfect souvenir.

rob said...

Very interesting story!Thanks!

Share my point of view... said...

It reminded me of our own 'wayang kulit'. ;)

Kelly said...

These are beautiful! Love the detail!

Rambling Woods said...

These are such beautifully crafted puppets..6 hours does seem a bit long to sit for...