Wayang Kulit: Raden Arjuna


Wayang Kulit: Raden Arjuna

Other Asia

Place of production:Central Java, Indonesia

Second half of 20th century

Water buffalo hide, horn, and bone with paint

全長66.4 像高45.8


Wayang is a form of puppet theater found in Indonesia. The puppet plays are based on ancient Hindu stories such as the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, and developed further in a local Indonesian context. The puppets used in Wayang theater include two-dimensional puppets made of water buffalo leather known as Wayang kulit, and three-dimensional wooden puppets called Wayang golek.

Wayang kulit is a type of shadow puppetry with performers operating puppets and playing music behind a white cloth screen. Audiences see the shadows of the puppets, with slight bits of color. The puppets not only move right, left, up and down, but also forward and backward. This makes the shadows appear larger or smaller, bringing them in and out of focus.

The making of Wayang kulit puppets is highly ingenious. First, the puppets are cut into the shape of a doll, accented with intricate openwork and painted in bright colors. Then the joints are connected with the bones of the water buffalo, and the sticks for handling the puppet’s horns are attached. With these sticks, handlers can move the puppet's hands.

Wayang kulit puppets are incredible to watch. If you have the chance, go and enjoy the lively silhouette performance.

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