Wayang is a Javanese word for theatre. Wayang kulit (skin) is the most uniquely Indonesian form. These are the shadow puppets whose performances can be an overnight event and which is accompanied by music from a gamelan. The classic performances are derived from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Other characters and stories have been added to the repertoire since the introduction of Islam to Indonesia where it spread rapidly after the thirteenth century.
The Wayang Museum also features wayang golek puppets which are wooden puppets operated by sticks from below. They even display puppets from other countries like the water puppets from Vietnam.
The person who guided us through the museum was very knowledgeable and added a lot to what we learned here.
Semar is a popular character in wayang performances. He is derived from Javanese mythology.
The kulit (skin) of wayang kulit is traditionally buffalo hide.
These are Vietnamese water puppets.
I guess I wasn’t supposed to be photographing here. At least the sign did not threaten lethal force as do some of the signs on Kandahar Airfield. Nobody seemed to be bothered by my excess taking of photographs.
Male ondel-ondel. These figures house a performer and the performances are still quite common. You might even pass a character like this on the streets of Jakarta.
Female ondel-ondel. These puppets originated with the Betawi, the original inhabitants of Batavia.