15 thoughts on “Javanese Shadow Puppetry

  1. Jesus Diyarza

    Wayang purwa stories talk about how one can live a virtuous noble life and to search for the meaning of things, in other words, just because a character or person is good does not mean that they have not caused misfortune and vise versa (not all “bad people” are completely unethical/immoral)

  2. Henry

    Wayang Kulit is a form of puppetry that comes from Indonesia. It is mostly on the islands of Java and Bali. Wayang means shadow or puppet and kullit means skin which means the using of leather puppets for the performance. Leather puppets are used behind a backlit screen which casts their shadow for the audience to see. It pairs with traditional music and storytelling many of the stories are Hindu mythology or local folklore which is passed on for generations.

  3. Habib Bodunrin


    Gamelan is a traditional Indonesian ensemble that uses many bronze percussion instruments. This ensemble is conducted with a drummer but also includes other instruments, such as metallophone, xylophones, or gongs. It is done on the islands of Java and Bali through ceremonies, theatre, singing, concerts, and other places of entertainment.  

  4. Alexis Cisneros

    Term: Java

    Definition: Java is one of Indonesia’s Greater Sunda Islands. Java is the world’s most populous island. The Island accounts for around 56% of Indonesia’s population. The island has four primary languages which are Javanese, Sundanese, Madurese, and Betawi.

  5. Tshari Yancey

    Tshari Yancey

    THE2280ID (D273)

    I was unfamiliar with the dhalang term but it is what they call the puppeteer in the wayang performance. The puppeteer sits behind a screen made of white cotton expanded onto a wooden frame, above his head is a lamp that projects the puppets shadows creating the show. The dhalang also gives cues to the gamelan.

  6. Joshua Lopez

    One term I am very unfamiliar with is Wayang Beber. Wayang Beer is an Indonesian Wayang Performance art. The presentation that people wear is just by stretch sheets of paper or cloth. It was developed and designed by java in pre-islamic times, but it still continued to grow into the Islamic Kingdoms.

  7. Conrod Shaw

    The Javanese are the largest ethnic group of people from both Indonesia and Southeast Asia with approximately more than 100 million people. Their native language is Javanese which is the largest of Austronesian languages. The Javanese are not constricted to there region expanding out to other countries such as Suriname, Singapore, Malaysia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and more.

  8. jacqueline_f

    Jacqueline Flores, D273

    I choose the word cempala. They stated that the word is used to knock on the box of the puppet. So in that context, I believe that the word might mean a tool or something similar to a hammer to hit the box to make noise on the puppet box.

  9. wenhui Jin

    A dhalang is a performer who sits behind a screen and controls the puppet, projecting its shadow on the screen. The dhalang is responsible for moving the puppets and speaking the lines. Push the puppet’s sharp levers into it to keep it in place during the performance.

  10. Yufei Lin

    Puppetry: Use specific materials, such as puppets, paper, etc. And then to shape them into the desired character shapes, such as people, animals, or others. And then perform the performance by using the manipulating puppets ways.

  11. Julio Capellan

    “Gunungan” is a prop used as a symbol that is used with narratives. It represents Meru, a cosmic mountain essential to Hindu and Javanese values. It also serves as a sort of scene breaker, providing transition between acts. This helps imply changes in settings or themes of the act.

  12. steve_d

    One term that was used was gunugan which was used during scenic transitions to signify natural elements such as mountains or trees. The gunungan symbolizes the cosmos, essentially how it all starts and how it all ends. These wayang kulit shows are moral-spiritual shows based mostly on the hindu epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.

  13. Winson Chen

    Kelir refers to the screen in which the shadows of the puppets are displayed on. The shadow side is where the audience normally watches it from while the other side is the puppeteer’s side. On that side, you can see how the puppeteering is being done and is made available for audiences to see today.

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