Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Indonesian Shadow Puppets

Shadow Puppet
Wayang Kulit is one of the many types of puppet play performed in Indonesia.  This is one of the oldest forms of shadow theatre which dates back to the mid 16th century.

Traditional puppets are made from buffalo or goat hide which is scrapped thin and flat and cured to ensure it does not warp.  A puppet maker uses a template and scratches an outline of the puppet shape.  Details are punched in using a wooden mallet and puppets are finished with buffalo horn or bamboo stick handles.  Leather arms are hinged at the shoulders and elbows with metal, bone or bamboo studs, then attached to sticks for the dalang (puppeteer) to move.  Folklore stories are passed down through generations and shadow performances aim to educate and entertain audiences.  

You can learn more about Indonesian puppet making to create your own shadow puppet performance.

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