Wayang Kulit As the Masterpiece of Javanese Performance Arts

Wayang Kulit is one of traditional Javanese Perform. When you spend the night in Yogyakarta while enjoying leather puppet show, it will feel vivid. The melodious rhythm of the gamelan in harmony with the voice of the female singers will not let you fall asleep. The story presented by the dalang as the puppeteer as well as the storyteller will bring you into being one of the characters in the story. You will soon learn the greatness of Javanese culture in the past with see Wayang Kulit.

Wayang Kulit

Wayang Kulit

The History of Wayang Kulit

Wayang Kulit show is a performance art that has been more than half a millennium of age. Its presence has its own story, in relation with the entrance of Javanese Islam. One of the Wali Songo or the nine pious leaders who spread Islam in Java created the puppet by adopting Wayang Beber or Beber Puppet that grew during the triumph of Hindu-Buddha. Such an adoption was done since Wayang Kulit had been attached to Javanese people so that it became the proper media to spread Islam, while Islam prohibited plastic arts. Consequently, Wayang Kulit was made in order for people to be able to see shadow.
Wayang Kulit show is done by the puppeteer who is also the storyteller who is possibly considered the best entertainer in the world. All the night, he plays all the characters of the leather puppets forming human characters made from buffalo skin decorated with motif as the product of leather carving. He has to change the voice character, switch the intonation, produce humor and even sing. In order to make the atmosphere vivid, the storyteller is assisted by musicians who play gamelan, the traditional Javanese music instruments, and the female singers called sinden who sing Javanese songs.

The Total Characters in Wayang Kulit

The total characters in Wayang Kulit show number in the hundreds. The puppets that are not played are stuck in banana stem that is placed close to the storyteller. While being played, the puppets will look as shadow from rear view of the white screen in front of the storyteller. The shadow is created by the light from the oil lamp placed at the upper rear of the storyteller that is cut off by the puppets being played on the screen. That’s all information about Wayang Kulit.