Javanese Shadow Puppets
Few art forms in the world appear as exotic as Javanese shadow plays, in which flat leather puppets cast shadows upon a screen. The figures are intricately cut and painted, and one puppeteer controls all their movements and enacts all their voices for the night-long performance. The puppeteer is believed to possess great amounts of mystical power, and the art form he transmits enjoys more prestige than many of Java's other performing arts. How can we make any sense of such a strange performing art? Textual evidence suggests that shadow plays have been performed for over 1,000 years in Java. The highly stylized figures, representing heroes, gods, princesses, demons, and servants, do indeed look like images from an altogether distant time and place. Yet, today, shadow plays are still enormously popular and Javanese flock in great numbers to see a famous puppeteer perform. To understand why shadow plays enjoy such great prestige and still provide so much pleasure, it is necessary to consider the stories they relate, their place in Javanese social life, and how Javanese talk about them. In the end, they remain a strikingly unusual art form, but not an inaccessibly exotic one.
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Wayang in Javanese Society
The Repertoire of Stories and the Structure of
An Ancient Art Form in the Modern World
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2nd edn Abilawa aesthetic ancestors Anom Soeroto Anom's appear art form audience batik battle branch stories Bratayuda brother Central Java characters Colour Plate court crowd dalang DEREK HOLMES Dhudhu Wangkung Drawing by Suharso Drestarata entertainment epics event father figures gamelan Gandamana genre hermitage Indian Indonesian invited guests Javanese culture Javanese language Javanese shadow play Javanese society Javanese think Jogja Jogjanese King Abyasa King Kunthiboja king of Ngastina King Wisamuka kingdom of Ngastina Klaten Kumbayana Kurawa Leslie Morris life-passage rituals Madura Mahabharata maidservants motor bikes musical mode night Niken non-Javanese ogres one's orchestra Pandhawa Pandhu Crowned King pelog Petruk phrases pop music popular puppet box queens religious rice scene screen Semar servants Seven Peaks shadow puppets singing sitting slendro snacks Solo Solonese sound South-East Asia speaking spectators spirits sponsor performances standing Sucitra Surakarta television troupe Ugrasena village voice wayang kulit Western wishes young
History, Culture, and Region in Southeast Asian Perspectives
O. W. Wolters
Limited preview - 1999
Chinese Shadow Theatre: History, Popular Religion, and Women Warriors
Fan Pen Li Chen
No preview available - 2007