The Indonesian Shadow Puppet (Wayang)

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Jakarta, Jakarta, Indonesia

The Indonesian Shadow Puppet (Wayang) Jakarta Reviews

cicie cicie
61 reviews
Childhood nostalgia…..a theme, or time of beauty? May 14, 2014
Sometimes when I write I need to go much deeper into my thoughts and memories. Every place I have visited brings back my some past memories, like when I visited the Museum Wayang Indonesia (Shadow Puppet Museum).

I was lucky because I grew up in different cities and villages in Indonesia. Every place is special because of the memories and the friendships that each afforded me.

I've lived in the small city of Java for 4 years. The Wayang Shows are an honored art form in Indonesia, especially in Java and Bali. Religious tales are adapted by the Dalang to include commentary on local issues and humor. This show is performed in villages and towns on special occasions such as at weddings, a public holidays and birthday celebrations.

Watching the Wayang Puppet Shows with my friends was always very enjoyable and created many memories. My friends are the reason I started watching Wayang shows. I enjoyed, but the Wayang Show uses Java language as the means of communication, and therefore sometimes I don't understand what they are talking about.. But my friends helped me to translate so I can understand the story. Every joke made us smile and laugh so much. Happiness is a good feeling.

The Wayang shows started in the evening and ended at dawn and are always accompanied by a Gamelan orchestra, creating beautiful harmony. The Dalang or puppet master is the person that moves the puppets around.

The puppets are manipulated behind a large white screen which is lit with an oil or electric lamp from behind, causing the puppets to cast shadows on the screen. The puppet master will put the main puppet's body on a banana log. His two hands will manipulate the puppets. He also speaks for the puppets, singing, and arranges the orchestra to the companion puppet shows. The Dalang usually is able to imitate many voices both male and female.

We only sit on the floor to watch the Wayang /Puppet shows. Not like in the cinema, the audience of Puppet shows is free to sit either facing the screen, or behind to watch the Dalang at work. The balmy night air and a cup of coffee is always something special in every Puppet show.

We were held spellbound by the skills of the Dalang or shadow artist about the stories. As the night wore on, we must fight sleepy eyes and mosquito bites, our heads occasionally jerking, but still wanting so desperately to stay awake. But who can stop the Dalang, who modulates his voice very strong and powerful. Sometime the Dalang will sing and conduct the Gamelan, he will ask orchestra that accompanies him to make sound very loud...!! One stays awake and one is thrilled !

Today this show still appeals and is very and special for me. How they told stories as jokes. How the humor means we are not watching "boring movies". The stories about philosophy, goodness and evil, family matters, histories, teaching us how to be a human being. The society's problems are also highlighted in funny ways that will make us laugh and cry tears of joy. The place and atmosphere make me feel special unlike the cinema.

My visit to the Puppet Museum builds my memories; my photos stay in my mind. Look at the museum collections, they please the eyes and the soul. This is a place of nostalgia and memories, a place where I can reconnect with myself and my past. I miss all the things..
9 / 9 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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yuness says:
Congratz on your featured Jenk!
Posted on: Aug 09, 2014
Zagnut66 says:
Congrats on being featured, Cicie! I would love to see one of these shows and the puppets in action.
Posted on: Aug 06, 2014
Nana_gincin says:
Thanks for share part of your proud, your heritage ... beautiful review, deserved recognition! ... Bravo Cicie :)
Posted on: Aug 06, 2014
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