The Most Popular Types of Puppets, Indonesia’s Cultural Wealth

Wayang is a performance art that has been designated by UNESCO as a shadow puppet show from Indonesia, a priceless masterpiece of the world’s masterpiece in spoken art (Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity).

The types of puppets can be divided based on the shape of the puppet. In addition to puppets made of leather that are already well-known, there are even puppets that use humans as puppet characters. Although mostly and well-known on the island of Java, puppets also exist in Sumatra or Malay, to Bali and Nusa Tenggara.

Shadow Puppets

The first types of puppets are shadow puppets. Of course you already recognize this wayang kulit, which is also the most well-known types of puppets. Wayang kulit is very popular and is often performed mainly in Central and East Java.

This puppet is flat and made of buffalo or goat skin. Arms and legs can be moved. In Bali and Java, shadow puppet shows often combine Hindu stories with Buddhism and Islam. In addition to religious stories, folktales and myths are often used.

Wayang kulit is played by a puppeteer who is also the narrator of the dialogues of wayang figures, accompanied by gamelan music. The puppeteer plays the shadow puppet behind the screen, the screen made of white cloth, while behind it is highlighted an electric lamp or oil lamp (blencong), so that viewers who are on the other side of the screen can see the shadow puppets that fall into the color.

To be able to understand wayang stories, the audience must have knowledge of puppet characters whose shadows appear on the screen. In general, wayang takes stories from the Mahabharata and Ramayana manuscripts, but is not limited to the standard (standard), the puppeteer can also play the carangan play (composition).

Puppet show

Puppet show is one of the types of puppets made of wood which is the result of the development of shadow puppets from time constraints so that it can be displayed during the day or night.

This performance is performed using a three-dimensional puppet made of wood. These types of puppets are popular in West Java. There are 2 kinds of puppet show, the puppet show puppet show and the puppet show purwa.

Puppet show which is widely known is puppet show purwa. The stories used often refer to Javanese and Islamic traditions, such as the stories of Pangeran Panji, Darmawulan, and Amir Hamzah, his uncle Prophet Muhammad a.s.

Puppet Orang or Puppet Wong

These types of puppets are dance dramas that use humans to portray characters based on traditional wayang stories. Puppet wong performances are performed directly by people or people with clothes like puppets.

The story that is often used is Smaradahana. Initially, wayang wong was shown as entertainment for the nobles, but now it has spread into a popular form of art. In the Wayang Orang performance, the function of the dalang which is a director is not as extensive as that of Wayang Kulit, the dalang only acts as a scene move.

Puppet Beber

The next types of puppets are Wayang Beber. Beber puppets are puppets in the form of sheets (beberan) made of cloth or ox skin, and formed into puppet figures.

Each expose is one story scene. If it is not played, the puppet can be rolled. This puppet was made in the days of the Majapahit kingdom. However, it is said that the Wali Songo modified this puppet which was used to spread the religion of Islam by changing it into shadow puppets, this is because in Islamic teaching forbids the form of images and statues.

Puppet Klitik

The next types of wayang are Wayang Klitik. The shape of the puppet is similar to shadow puppets, but it is made of wood, not leather. This klitik puppet show also uses shadows in its performances.

The word “klitik” comes from the sound of wood that touches when a puppet is moved or during a fight scene, for example. The stories used in this puppet drama come from the kingdoms of East Java, such as the Kingdom of Jenggala, Kediri, to Majapahit. The most popular story is about Damarwulan. This story is filled with romance and is very popular with the public.

Puppet Suket

Puppet suket are types of puppets that are no less famous. Although the form is simple and is usually only used as a game or story telling puppet to children in Javanese villages.

This suket puppet is made of grass which is owned in such a way that it is formed to resemble a shadow puppet character. To make it, some grass leaves are woven and then strung together (by folding) to form figures similar to wayang kulit. Because the material is grass, this puppet suket usually doesn’t last long.

So those are some types of puppets that are famous in Indonesia. Let’s preserve Indonesian culture.

if you are interested in wayang you can visit the Indonesia Souvenirs site

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