Art-Pacific (Carolyn Leigh - Ron Perry): Guide to Artifacts
Wayang literally means shadow, but refers to all types of puppet theater.Java has three types of puppets.
Wayang kulit: leather shadow puppets perform Indonesian versions of the Indian Hindu epics.
Wayang golek: wooden rod puppets perform the Hindu cycles and also an Islamic Arabian adventure cycle.
Wayang klitik: flat wooden puppets perform the adventures of Javanese Majapahit Empire heros.
Also wayang beber, an earlier, related form where the storyteller unrolled a scroll of painted scenes.
Figure 1: Wayang golek rod puppet from Java dressed in a silk jacket with beaded epaulets and gold braid.
Figure 2: Dorsono, a wayang kulit shadow puppet from Java.
Other Indonesian puppets:
Bali: The Balinese use shadow puppets that are more naturalistic in style than the Javanese ones. Baron landong are large comic puppets worn by humans. They are temple puppets and only appear occasionally.
Lombok: Shadow puppets perform Islamic stories.
North Sumatra: Large Si Galegale articulated puppets dance as substitute mourners at funerals of childless Toba Batak people.
Puppet-like figures include Torajan effigies of the dead, Tau-Tau, in Sulawesi and a Javanese child's play that uses a puppet-like manikin, Nini Towong.
The puppet master, the dalang, manipulates his set of 100 to 500 shadow puppets, or 65 to 70 rod puppets, during a performance that often lasts all night.