Indonesia Wayang Kulit is an important and much loved traditional
art form. It is another way of telling stories, and has its own conventions.
are made from buffalo hide, and may have moveable parts.
The puppets are often highly decorated, although this colour
and detail does not show on the projection screen.
- Rods of
buffalo horn are used to support the puppets and to move the limbs.
- The screen
is of fine white cotton, sometimes oiled to make it more transparent.
- The light
source, which projects the shadows of the puppets onto the screen, is
traditionally an oil lamp, which provides a soft yellow light.
puppet show, especially if it is telling a range of stories from The
Ramayana, may take up to 9 or 10 hours. Children are allowed to stay up late to watch
the performances, and adults and children eat, chat (and sometimes sleep)
during the performance.
puppeteer is called a dalang. He sits behind the screen with the good puppets
to his right, and the bad puppets to his left. The puppets not in use stand upright with their
control rods poked into a banana tree log to keep them ready for use.
- The puppeteer
does all of the voices, for the characters and to tell the story.
- A traditional
plays during the performance, making ‘theme’ music
to fit the action on the screen.
and ‘good characters’ usually have pointed noses and slit-like eyes.
Villains have round noses, large eyes and pointed teeth.
can I make my own shadow puppet theatre?