Wayang refers to the entire dramatic show. In puppets in teaching english pdf for the acknowledgment, UNESCO required Indonesians to preserve their heritage. There is no evidence that wayang existed in ancient Indonesia. The earliest evidence is from the late 1st millennium CE, in medieval-era texts and archeological sites.
Indonesian islands in the early centuries of the 1st millennium, and along with theology, the peoples of Indonesia and Indian subcontinent exchanged culture, architecture and traded goods. Puppet arts and dramatic plays have been documented in ancient Indian texts, dated to the last centuries of the 1st millennium BCE and the early centuries of the common era. Indian mythologies and characters from the Hindu epics feature in many of the major plays performed, all of which suggest possible Indian origins, or at least an influence in the pre-Islamic period of Indonesian history. Indigenous origin: the word “Wayang” is not found in Indian languages, but is Javanese. Similarly, some of the other technical terms used in the Wayang Kulit found in Java and Bali are based on local languages, even when the play overlaps with Buddhist or Hindu mythologies.
This suggests, state some scholars such as Hazeu, that Wayang has indigenous roots. Asian shadow theatre”, states Brandon. Regardless of its origins, states Brandon, Wayang developed and matured into a Javanese phenomenon. There is no true contemporary puppet shadow artwork in either China or India that has the sophistication, depth and creativity as expressed in Wayang. The oldest known record that probably concerns wayang is from the 9th century. Maharaja Sri Lokapala mentions three sorts of performers: atapukan, aringgit, and abanol. Ringgit is described in an 11th-century Javanese poem as a leather shadow figure.
From that time till today it seems certain features of traditional puppet theatre have remained. Galigi was an itinerant performer who was requested to perform for a special royal occasion. This reference to wayang as shadow plays suggested that wayang performance is already familiar in Airlangga’s court and wayang tradition has been established in Java, perhaps earlier. Wayang kulit is a unique form of theatre employing light and shadow. The puppets are crafted from buffalo hide and mounted on bamboo sticks.
When held up behind a piece of white cloth, with an electric bulb or an oil lamp as the light source, shadows are cast on the screen. Some of the plays are also based on local happening or other local secular stories. A dalang performing wayang kulit in Java, circa 1890. It is he who sits behind the screen, sings and narrates the dialogues of different characters of the story. With a traditional orchestra in the background to provide a resonant melody and its conventional rhythm, the dalang modulates his voice to create suspense thus heightening the drama. Invariably, the play climaxes with the triumph of good over evil.