Essay on Wayang Kulit

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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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People will sponsor a performance to give thanks for someone recovering from illness.

The screen represents the white universe in which people live their lives. The bright side of the screen represents the material world in which we live. The darker side represents the mysterious after-life. The oil lamp was often in the shape of the Garuda bird, and represents the rays of the sun which give life to every living thing.

There may be several puppets for the one character. Depending on what the character is doing, the puppet will be shown with different clothing and with different colours to indicate its mood. Gold represents harmony, love of beauty and the finer things in life; dignity and calmness. Black represents more reflective, inward-looking characteristics, calmness and control; but sometimes anger and strength. Red represents physical strength, but a tempestuousness or fury. White represents flexible characters that are knowledgeable and full of life, as well as innocence, youth or purity.

The size and nature of the puppets depends on their character and station in life -as an ordinary person, god or demon. The puppeteer or dalang will have the good puppet characters standing in th or banana trunk to his right and the bad puppet characters to his left. This connects with the idea underlying wayang kulit that in every person there is a struggle between good and evil. The banana trunk represents the earth. Smaller puppets are closer
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