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Balinese Wayag Kulit Shadow Puppet Theater

I Gusti Putu, Sudarta, SSP., M.Sn (2005) Balinese Wayag Kulit Shadow Puppet Theater. Documentation. ISI Denpasar.

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Konsep The ancient art of shadow play, or ”wayang kulit” (lit. leather figures), is a unique combination of ritual, lesson, and entertainment. Lacy shadow images are projected on a linen screen with a natural oil lamp or electric light. The Dalang, or shadow artist, manipulates carved leather figures between the lamp and the screen to bring the shadows to life. A Balinese shadow play troupe typically consists of three to ten people, a Dalang and several musicians. A Javanese shadow play production is usually larger, with a full orchestra of twenty or more musicians. One or two assistants to the Dalang help prepare and maintain the large inventory of shadow figures, lamp and screen, often functioning as impromptu stage managers. Gamelan musicians round out the ensemble, performing the ceremonial overtures and appropriate music throughout the play. Timing between the Dalang and musicians is critical, requiring strong communication skills. Wayang, in modern Indonesian language, is loosely translated to mean puppet. Kulit means leather, the material from which the figures are carved. The Javanese hold that wayang originates from the word “bayang” which means shadow. This definition may represent a re-translation of the word, possibly originating with the influx of Islam in Java. The Balinese believe the term Wayang originated from two early Sanskrit words: Waya-glorious ancestors returning, and Ang- meaning a symbol, hence Wayang- a homecoming of family spirits through zymbology . To the Hindu, a person’s shadow holds a portion of the spirit. Recreating the shadow allows part of that spirit to appear with it. Thus, the importance of shadow play throughout Hindu Asia. Many believe this definition actually predates the import of the Indian stories Mahabarata, Ramayana, et al. Although most characters in shadow play come from India (with modifications) many are purely Indonesian, such as the translators: Tualen, Merdah, Sangut, and Delem in Bali, and Semar, Bagong, Petruk, etc., in Java. Strong evidence of their pre-Hindu origins can be observed in the name Tualen, actually two words: Tua- old, len- different, meaning the oldest one and separate from the others. Refined characters speak in the language of Kawi (lit. inspiration), or Java Kuno, archaic Javanese. Indonesian udiences generally do not know this language well. The translators impart details of the story, providing their own insight and sense of humor. In America, the translators often tend to work double duty to firmly convey the story to an audience who hasn’t seen it countless times.

Item Type: Monograph (Documentation)
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Divisions: Faculty > Performing Arts Faculty > Puppetry Department
Depositing User: Ni Made Dwi Oktaviani
Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2012 06:13
Last Modified: 30 Jul 2012 06:13

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