Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Wayang Kulit in Yogya

Yogya is a truly vibrant and cultural city renowned for being a centre for classical Javanese fine art and culture such as ballet, drama, music, poetry, batik and puppet shows

At Yogyakarta's centre is the Kraton, or Sultan's palace and it is here where we saw the artists at work making the puppets used for shadow plays wayang kulit (wayang – Javanese word for shadow and kulit ‘skin’)

 They are made out of very thin buffalo skin (leather) and are cut with such precision and are then supported with carefully shaped buffalo horn handles and control rods. 

 Wayang kulit is a unique form of theatre employing light and shadow. When the puppets are held up behind a piece of white cloth, with an electric bulb or an oil lamp as the light source, shadows are cast on the screen.

The plays are based on romantic tales, especially adaptations of the classic Indian epics, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. Some of the plays are also based on local happenings. It is up to the conductor or dalang or master puppeteer to decide his direction.
Its unfortunate that we didnt get to see a show but I dont believe that was my last chance to appreciate this ancient art.

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