Wayang Kulit

945 words 4 pages
The term Wayang is the Japanese word for shadow, or Bayang in Indonesian and Malay. In modern Javanese and Indonesian vocabulary, Wayang is often associated with the puppet itself or the whole puppet theatre performance.

Wayang is a general term meaning traditional theatre in Indonesia. This art was imported from India or China, both of which have a long tradition of shadow puppetry and theatre in general. However, there very well may have been ingenious storytelling traditions that had a big impact on the development of the traditional puppet theatre.
Wayang Kulit is a unique form of theatre employing light and shadow. The puppets are crafted from buffalo hide and mounted on bamboo sticks. When held up behind a
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The stories:
Like most stories, including modern films, wayang stories often explore the battle between good and evil, and the problems that people face.

Other stories were brought to Indonesia by traders from India. These include the great epic stories such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata.
The performance:
The play can be performed outside or inside, with the puppets being moved against a central white cloth screen that is lit up by an oil lamp or, in recent times, by an electric light.

The audience can sit anywhere around the screen, but where they sit usually depends on who they are and on their social status. Explain that in our theatres too, people can sometimes pay more for better seats. Although we often have theatres where the audience can only sit in front of the stage, some performances are done in ‘theatre in the round’ or outside in venues such as parks and gardens, where the audience is free to sit where they like.

A wayang performance usually takes place at night, often starting after 9:00pm and continuing until dawn – as much as nine hours! This is a social occasion for the audience, and a chance to relax with friends and family. Since they often know the traditional story well, they may sleep, eat or talk during the less exciting parts. A typical performance may be held as a celebration or major community event. Families come to the performance prepared to spend a long time enjoying each others company as well as